Synonym Chooser

How does the adjective tenuous contrast with its synonyms?

Some common synonyms of tenuous are slender, slight, slim, and thin. While all these words mean "not thick, broad, abundant, or dense," tenuous implies extreme thinness, sheerness, or lack of substance and firmness.

a tenuous thread

Where would slender be a reasonable alternative to tenuous?

The meanings of slender and tenuous largely overlap; however, slender implies leanness or spareness often with grace and good proportion.

the slender legs of a Sheraton chair

When could slight be used to replace tenuous?

While in some cases nearly identical to tenuous, slight implies smallness as well as thinness.

a slight build

When is slim a more appropriate choice than tenuous?

The synonyms slim and tenuous are sometimes interchangeable, but slim applies to slenderness that suggests fragility or scantiness.

a slim volume of poetry
a slim chance

In what contexts can thin take the place of tenuous?

The words thin and tenuous are synonyms, but do differ in nuance. Specifically, thin implies comparatively little extension between surfaces or in diameter, or it may imply lack of substance, richness, or abundance.

thin wire
a thin soup

Thesaurus Entries Near tenuous

Cite this Entry

“Tenuous.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/tenuous. Accessed 24 Apr. 2024.

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