Definition of tenace in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈtenˌās/ Pronunciation: /ˈtenis/


(In bridge, whist, and similar card games) a pair of cards in one hand that rank immediately above and below a card held by an opponent, e.g., the ace and queen in a suit of which an opponent holds the king.
Example sentences
  • Not wishing to lead from one of his tenaces, he opened the ten of spades.
  • Throwing the lead back to defenders after eliminating safe suits can force them to lead into your tenaces.
  • These tenaces are revealed to the defenders, providing them with additional defense advantages.


Mid 17th century: from French, from Spanish tenaza, literally 'pincers'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ten·ace

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.