from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Long and thin; slender: tenuous strands.
  • adj. Having a thin consistency; dilute.
  • adj. Having little substance; flimsy: a tenuous argument.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Thin in substance or consistency.
  • adj. insubstantial

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Thin; slender; small; minute.
  • adj. Rare; subtile; not dense; -- said of fluids.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Thin; small; minute.
  • Rare; rarefied; fine; subtile.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. very thin in gauge or diameter
  • adj. having thin consistency
  • adj. lacking substance or significance


Latin tenuis; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin tenuis ("thin, slight"), + Eng. suffix -ous (Wiktionary)



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