Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Not capable of being maintained or defended.
  • adjective Not capable of being occupied or lived in.
  • adjective Usage Problem Insupportable; intolerable.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Not tenable; that cannot be held in possession: as, an untenable post or fort. That cannot be maintained by argument; not defensible: as, an untenable doctrine.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adjective Not able to be held, as of an opinion or position; unholdable, indefensible.

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

  • adjective (of theories etc) incapable of being defended or justified

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

un- +‎ tenable

Examples

  • Moosa, on Wednesday to intervene in what it called the untenable situation of South Africa's conservation sector.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • His plan to offer up the goddess Freia to the giants who built Valhalla is untenable from the start, as it would mean forcing the Gods to give up their eternal youth (her golden apples do a lot more than just keep the doctor away -- and remember, there was no Botox in 19th century Germany).

    Albert Imperato: My Takeaway From the Metropolitan Opera's New Rheingold

  • His plan to offer up the goddess Freia to the giants who built Valhalla is untenable from the start, as it would mean forcing the Gods to give up their eternal youth (her golden apples do a lot more than just keep the doctor away -- and remember, there was no Botox in 19th century Germany).

    Albert Imperato: My Takeaway From the Metropolitan Opera's New Rheingold

  • There are many innocent victims but also many many people that put themselves in untenable positions with purchases that they could barely afford and too little savings to weather a storm.

    Wonk Room » Mortgage Modifications Hitting Roadblocks, As Cram-Down Bill Languishes In Senate

  • Mostly all the European countries tried and find themselves in untenable positions.

    White House hanging on until Blair shows up? - Moe_Lane’s blog - RedState

  • His plan to offer up the goddess Freia to the giants who built Valhalla is untenable from the start, as it would mean forcing the Gods to give up their eternal youth (her golden apples do a lot more than just keep the doctor away -- and remember, there was no Botox in 19th century Germany).

    Albert Imperato: My Takeaway From the Metropolitan Opera's New Rheingold

  • He must be at liberty to assume disguises, to balance precariously in untenable positions, to sacrifice the letter of the truth to the spirit of it.

    Mrs. Miniver

  • The 29-year-old has claimed his position in the England squad is "untenable" - a decision related to the alleged affair between his former Chelsea team-mate John Terry and Vanessa Perroncel, the mother of his young son.

    Top Stories: BreakingNews.ie

  • At a farmers 'regional congress at George, WCAU chairman Chris du Toit described as untenable and draconian proposals allowing farmworkers to strike while receiving all the benefits of life on farms, and trade unions access to farmers' financial statements.

    ANC Daily News Briefing

  • Croghan remarked, as we listened to the uproar, "Fort Stephenson can hardly be called untenable against heavy artillery."

    Lazarre

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