Synonyms of tenor

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Frequently Asked Questions About tenor

How is the word tenor different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of tenor are current, drift, tendency, and trend. While all these words mean "movement in a particular direction," tenor stresses a clearly perceptible direction and a continuous, undeviating course.

the tenor of the times

When is current a more appropriate choice than tenor?

While the synonyms current and tenor are close in meaning, current implies a clearly defined but not necessarily unalterable course.

an encounter that changed the current of my life

In what contexts can drift take the place of tenor?

The words drift and tenor can be used in similar contexts, but drift may apply to a tendency determined by external forces, or it may apply to an underlying or obscure trend of meaning or discourse.

the drift of the population away from large cities

got the drift of her argument

When might tendency be a better fit than tenor?

Although the words tendency and tenor have much in common, tendency implies an inclination sometimes amounting to an impelling force.

a general tendency toward inflation

When would trend be a good substitute for tenor?

The meanings of trend and tenor largely overlap; however, trend applies to the general direction maintained by a winding or irregular course.

the long-term trend of the stock market is upward

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The first known use of tenor was in the 14th century

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Cite this Entry

“Tenor.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 18 May. 2022.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tenor

Nglish: Translation of tenor for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tenor for Arabic Speakers Encyclopedia article about tenor


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