tendency implies an inclination sometimes amounting to an impelling force.
a general tendency toward inflation
trend applies to the general direction maintained by a winding or irregular course.
the long-term trend of the stock market is upward
drift may apply to a tendency determined by external forces
the drift of the population away from large cities
or it may apply to an underlying or obscure trend of meaning or discourse.
got the drift of her argument
tenor stresses a clearly perceptible direction and a continuous, undeviating course.
the tenor of the times
current implies a clearly defined but not necessarily unalterable course.
an encounter that changed the current of my life
Examples of tenor in a Sentence
He has a high, lilting tenor.
She asked the tenors to sing the line again.
The tenor of his remarks is clear. Adjective
Verdi wrote some difficult tenor parts.
She plays the tenor sax.
Recent Examples on the Web
If the spirit is willing, the skill set on tap falls short of reincarnating those cult classics’ uniquely outré tenor.—Dennis Harvey, Variety, 26 Oct. 2023 Sign up Since then, there has been a dramatic shift in the tenor of local politics in Douglas County.—Matt Ford, The New Republic, 11 Oct. 2023 Public outcry ensued; the main tenor of the criticism was that Usher, at 28, was still too young to become a family man.—Danielle Amir Jackson Malike Sidibe, New York Times, 11 Oct. 2023 The child of pastors who’d honed his skills singing in a church choir, Sech rose up the industry ranks quickly, winning over fans with the sweetness of his tenor.—Julyssa Lopez, Rolling Stone, 25 Sep. 2023 The group particularly needs lead singers in the second tenor voice range.—Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 22 Sep. 2023 While the tenor Joseph Dennis is affable in the role, his chemistry with D’Angelo is nil.—Zachary Woolfe, New York Times, 29 Oct. 2023 Two books, both by English tenors and both on the nature of song.—Eric Felten, WSJ, 5 Oct. 2023 Over the past decade, Dan + Shay’s Dan Smyers and Shay Mooney have won multiple Grammys and scored a string of Billboard Country Airplay chart-toppers with their melodic ballads, bolstered by Smyers’ lush production and Mooney’s otherworldly tenor.—Jessica Nicholson, Billboard, 14 Sep. 2023 See More
These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'tenor.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.
Middle English tenor, tenoure, tenure "main point of a document, intent of a legal agreement, continued presence or sustained course, part carrying the cantus firmus melody in contrapuntal music," borrowed from Anglo-French & Medieval Latin; Anglo-French tenur, tenure "import of a document," borrowed from Medieval Latin tenōr-, tenor "sustained course, continuity, condition, drift of a law or document, tone of the voice, cantus firmus melody in contrapuntal music," going back to Latin, "sustained course, continuity, tone of the voice," from tenēre "to hold, possess" + -ōr-, -or, going back to *-ōs-, deverbal noun suffix of state — more at tenant entry 1