Definition of tenuous
- tenuous reasons
- a tenuous rope
He has a tenuous grasp on reality.
The local theater has had a tenuous existence in recent years.
He could demonstrate only a tenuous claim to ownership.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tenuous.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Something tenuous has been stretched thin and might break at any time. A person with a tenuous hold on his sanity should be watched carefully. If a business is only tenuously surviving, it will probably go bankrupt in the next recession. If there seems to be only a tenuous connection between two crimes, it means the investigators have more work to do.
: not certain, definite, or strong : flimsy, weak, or uncertain
: very thin
What made you want to look up tenuous? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).
Merriam-Webster's New Words Quiz—Fall 2017 Edition!
Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!TAKE THE QUIZ
Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.TAKE THE QUIZ