There are 2 main definitions of tenor in English:

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tenor1

Syllabification: ten·or
Pronunciation: /ˈtenər
 
/

noun

1A singing voice between baritone and alto or countertenor, the highest of the ordinary adult male range.
Example sentences
  • Your teachers were all baritones and even your tenor voice has a distinct baritonal touch to it.
  • There is some confusion about exactly what voice he sang; soprano, alto, tenor and bass parts are all ascribed to him.
  • There are eight sopranos, four mezzos, one counter-tenor, three tenors, seven baritones, and two basses.
1.1A singer with a tenor voice.
Example sentences
  • He was an opera singer who became an agent for divas and tenors.
  • Any singers, especially tenors and basses, would be most welcome to join.
  • He was a great tenor singer and loved to entertain and delight the crowds.
1.2A part written for a tenor voice.
Example sentences
  • He offers one of the most pleasing tenors that I have heard in a long time.
  • The second movement, a tenor solo movement, depicts the young lover recollecting his sweet days with the departed.
1.3 [usually as modifier] An instrument, especially a saxophone, trombone, tuba, or viol, of the lowest pitch but one in its family: a tenor sax
More example sentences
  • It's a six-CD box set; they're all short, original songs on tenor saxophone.
  • This threesome functions like a jazz trio, particularly when Parker plays tenor sax.
  • There are very few pieces for tenor sax.
1.4 (in full tenor bell) The largest and deepest bell of a ring or set.
Example sentences
  • The worst case is when the tenor bell and the smaller bell opposite it are moving in the same direction at the same time.
  • The deep tenor bell rang out for a minute before the crowd sang the hymn.
  • The abbey's tenor bell chimed for the 101st time.

Origin

late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin, based on tenere 'to hold'; so named because the tenor part was allotted (and therefore “held”) the melody.

More
  • In medieval music the tenor part was given the melody, and therefore ‘held’ it, reflecting its root, Latin tenere ‘to hold’. The tenor of something, as in ‘the general tenor of the debate’, also goes back to Latin tenere, via tenor ‘course, substance, meaning of a law’.

Words that rhyme with tenor

antenna, Avicenna, duenna, henna, Jenna, Jenner, Morwenna, Ravenna, senna, Siena, sienna, tenner, Vienna

Definition of tenor in:

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There are 2 main definitions of tenor in English:

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tenor2

Syllabification: ten·or
Pronunciation: /ˈtenər
 
/

noun

1 [in singular] (usually the tenor of) The general meaning, sense, or content of something: the general tenor of the debate
More example sentences
  • There is a general tenor of pride and a sense of accomplishment.
  • This quote is representative of the general tenor of the site.
  • He gives the reader a good sense of the tenor of the moment.
Synonyms
sense, meaning, theme, drift, thread, import, purport, intent, intention, burden, thrust, significance, message;
gist, tone, essence, substance, spirit, feel
2 [in singular] (usually the tenor of) A settled or prevailing character or direction, especially the course of a person’s life or habits: the even tenor of life in the kitchen was disrupted the following day
More example sentences
  • His visit disturbed the even tenor of life in the areas of the City through which he passed.
  • Eventually the even tenor of the days at the castle was interrupted by preparations for the festival.
  • From what I hear, the tenor of book publishing seems to be turning up, imitating the stock market.
Synonyms
course, direction, movement, drift, current, trend
3 Law The actual wording of a document.
Example sentences
  • From the tenor of the letters, it is clear to the Court that a parent dictated them.
  • Nothing in the tenor of that speech suggests that the court was seeking to exclude the operation of issue estoppel in these proceedings.
  • I trust the commission to understand the tenor of the legislation.
4 Finance The time that must elapse before a bill of exchange or promissory note becomes due for payment.
Example sentences
  • The Central Bank came into the market with term deposits for the 7, 14, 21 and 32 days tenors.
  • The floating rate tranche would have a longer tenor of 12 years.
  • The bond had a tenor of five years, with the offer amount initially limited to US $75 million.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French tenour, from Latin tenor 'course, substance, import of a law', from tenere 'to hold'.

More
  • In medieval music the tenor part was given the melody, and therefore ‘held’ it, reflecting its root, Latin tenere ‘to hold’. The tenor of something, as in ‘the general tenor of the debate’, also goes back to Latin tenere, via tenor ‘course, substance, meaning of a law’.

Definition of tenor in:

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