There are 2 definitions of tenor in English:

tenor1

Syllabification: ten·or
Pronunciation: /ˈtenər
 
/

noun

  • 1A singing voice between baritone and alto or countertenor, the highest of the ordinary adult male range.
    More 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.
    More 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.
    More 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.
    More 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.

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Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody

There are 2 definitions of tenor in English:

tenor2

Syllabification: ten·or
Pronunciation: /
 
ˈtenər/

noun

  • 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
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    • 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.
    More 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.
    More 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'.

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