Definition of tenement in English:


Syllabification: ten·e·ment
Pronunciation: /ˈtenəmənt


  • 1A room or a set of rooms forming a separate residence within a house or block of apartments.
    More example sentences
    • The flat was part of a refurbished block of tenements that belonged to a housing co-operative.
    • Rents were horrendous for urban dwellers, with entire families doubling up in crowded single room tenements.
    • Various diseases all too often swept through entire city blocks of tenements.
  • 1.1 (also tenement house) A house divided into and rented out as separate residences, especially one that is run-down and overcrowded.
    More example sentences
    • The flat was on the first floor of a tenement block, and had a lovely front room.
    • It was a basement flat in an Edinburgh tenement, with something of a history.
    • He spent his working life designing commercial premises, tenements and mansion houses.
  • 2A piece of land held by an owner.
    More example sentences
    • Their lands and tenements should be seized into the king's hands.
  • 2.1 Law Any kind of permanent property, e.g., lands or rents, held from a superior.
    More example sentences
    • The roadway is being used for obtaining access and egress to and from land outside the dominant tenement.
    • He holds the tenement by a rent due to the maker of the recognizance.
    • The grantor intends to reserve rights over the tenement granted.


Middle English (in the sense 'tenure, property held by tenure'): via Old French from medieval Latin tenementum, from tenere 'to hold'.

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