te·​nac·​i·​ty | \ tə-ˈna-sə-tē How to pronounce tenacity (audio) \

Definition of tenacity

: the quality or state of being tenacious

Choose the Right Synonym for tenacity

courage, mettle, spirit, resolution, tenacity mean mental or moral strength to resist opposition, danger, or hardship. courage implies firmness of mind and will in the face of danger or extreme difficulty. the courage to support unpopular causes mettle suggests an ingrained capacity for meeting strain or difficulty with fortitude and resilience. a challenge that will test your mettle spirit also suggests a quality of temperament enabling one to hold one's own or keep up one's morale when opposed or threatened. her spirit was unbroken by failure resolution stresses firm determination to achieve one's ends. the resolution of pioneer women tenacity adds to resolution implications of stubborn persistence and unwillingness to admit defeat. held to their beliefs with great tenacity

Examples of tenacity in a Sentence

If there is a particular tenacity in Islamist forms of terrorism today, this is a product not of Islamic scripture but of the current historical circumstance that many Muslims live in places of intense political conflict. — Max Rodenbeck, New York Book Review, 30 Nov. 2006 … everything about a person, even the most blameless of facts, can have the sticky tenacity of a secret. — Anthony Lane, New Yorker, 12 Aug. 2002 A tribute to tenacity, the free ascent of Trango Tower was the fulfillment of a cowboy climber's dream. — Todd Skinner, National Geographic, April 1996
Recent Examples on the Web William White, Walmart’s chief marketing officer, said the retailer’s latest commercials aimed to celebrate consumers’ ingenuity and tenacity in leaner times, rather than remind them about the state of the economy. Suzanne Vranica, WSJ, 1 Aug. 2022 Having won a national title at Indiana in 1981, Thomas was the No. 2 overall pick; his playmaking ability and tenacity as a defender turned the hapless club into a blue-collar success story. Andrew Hammond, Detroit Free Press, 28 July 2022 The Chicks have been exemplars of independence and tenacity since even before Maines replaced original lead singer Robin Lynn Macy in 1995. George Varga, San Diego Union-Tribune, 15 July 2022 Or maybe the Celtics with all their size, length and springiness are just a really tough matchup for a guy who has made a living on his IQ and tenacity as a 6-foot-6 frontcourt player. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, 9 June 2022 Phoenix's coach had previously watched the University of Virginia player and remembered his impressive work ethic and tenacity. Drew Schott, The Arizona Republic, 7 June 2022 As one of the most underrated R&B artists in the game, Vedo has demonstrated talent and tenacity since his debut EP 93 back in 2015. Essence, 15 Oct. 2021 And while pushing the sport sedan hard in the higher elevations of the Vosges Mountains, where the Mercedes grips each corner with claw-like tenacity, the innovative turbo is nearly transparent—the engine demonstrating faultless responsiveness. Michael Harley, Robb Report, 6 July 2022 He's found a supportive audience in some local faith leaders, who have embraced beekeeping in recent years and see lessons for their congregations in the bees’ actions: selflessness, tenacity, teamwork. Sophie Carson, Journal Sentinel, 15 June 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tenacity.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of tenacity

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tenacity

Middle English tenacite, borrowed from Middle French tenacité, borrowed from Latin tenācitāt-, tenācitās, from tenāc-, tenāx "holding fast, tenacious" + -itāt- -itās -ity

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The first known use of tenacity was in the 15th century

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Last Updated

7 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tenacity.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tenacity. Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for tenacity


te·​nac·​i·​ty | \ tə-ˈna-sə-tē How to pronounce tenacity (audio) \

Kids Definition of tenacity

: the quality or state of being persistent The dog held his bone with tenacity.


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