Definition of tenacious in English:


Line breaks: ten|acious
Pronunciation: /tɪˈneɪʃəs


1Tending to keep a firm hold of something; clinging or adhering closely: a tenacious grip
More example sentences
  • They brushed at tenacious bits of clinging greenery.
  • I think that Africa will always hold a tenacious grip on me, and I do feel sad to be leaving my friends.
  • Popular culture has a tenacious grip on most kids, parents, and even us teachers.
firm, tight, fast, clinging;
strong, forceful, powerful, unshakeable, immovable, iron
British claggy;
Scottish & Northern English clarty
1.1Not readily relinquishing a position, principle, or course of action; determined: this tenacious defence of local liberties you’re tenacious and you get at the truth
More example sentences
  • He is a brilliant commentator and tenacious advocate of his position.
  • I was just tenacious and determined and ran all day.
  • They seem tenacious in their determination to get at the truth.
retentive, good;
1.2Persisting in existence; not easily dispelled: a tenacious local legend
More example sentences
  • His rosy view has proved remarkably tenacious.
  • These hardy and tenacious insects have lived on the planet for 400 million years.
  • The tribal loyalties of some hostel residents have proved tenacious.


early 17th century: from Latin tenax, tenac- (from tenere 'to hold') + -ious.



More example sentences
  • She has tenaciously held on to her No 1 spot in the rankings.
  • He is tenaciously clinging to life and he feels healthy for the first time in years.
  • They cursed the conditions in which they served, but they tenaciously kept going, day after day.


More example sentences
  • His determination, tenaciousness and commitment to the game makes him one of our truly great players.
  • Much of this stubborn tenaciousness was inherited from his devoted mother.
  • One never feels that he is wholly approving of the growing tenaciousness of William and Emily's relationship.

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