untenable


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un·ten·a·ble

 (ŭn-tĕn′ə-bəl)
adj.
1. Not capable of being maintained or defended: an untenable position.
2. Not capable of being occupied or lived in: untenable quarters.
3. Usage Problem Insupportable; intolerable.

un·ten′a·bil′i·ty, un·ten′a·ble·ness n.
un·ten′a·bly adv.
Usage Note: The word untenable has recently been applied to various situations with the meaning "not capable of being coped with; insupportable." This meaning (which is not far from the traditional sense of "incapable of being maintained") has become codified in the locution untenable situation. In our 2005 survey, fully 91 percent of the Usage Panel found this expression acceptable in the sentence The job offer left her in an untenable situation: She must either move away from her child or forgo her dream of becoming a film director. But the Panel had little enthusiasm when untenable was extended in its application with this meaning. Only 19 percent accepted the sentence Another untenable tragedy in the region is that children have dropped out of school to become soldiers. The Panel became even less sanguine when untenable was applied to an emotional burden, with just 12 percent accepting When I saw the destruction from the storm, a sense of untenable sadness washed over me.

untenable

(ʌnˈtɛnəbəl)
adj
1. (of theories, propositions, etc) incapable of being maintained, defended, or vindicated
2. unable to be maintained against attack
3. rare (of a house, etc) unfit for occupation
unˌtenaˈbility, unˈtenableness n
unˈtenably adv

un•ten•a•ble

(ʌnˈtɛn ə bəl)

adj.
1. incapable of being defended, as an argument or thesis; indefensible.
2. not fit to be occupied or lived in.
[1640–50]
un`ten•a•bil′i•ty, un•ten′a•ble•ness, n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.untenable - (of theories etc) incapable of being defended or justifieduntenable - (of theories etc) incapable of being defended or justified
unreasonable - not reasonable; not showing good judgment

untenable

Translations

untenable

[ˈʌnˈtenəbl] ADJinsostenible

untenable

[ˌʌnˈtɛnəbəl] adj (= position) → intenable (= argument, theory) → indéfendable

untenable

adj (lit, fig)unhaltbar

untenable

[ʌnˈtɛnəbl] adj (position) → insostenibile
References in classic literature ?
This left me no course but to regret that I had been "betrayed into a warmth which," and on the whole to repudiate, as untenable, the idea that I was to be found anywhere.
Of the different grounds which have been taken in opposition to the plan of the convention, there is none that was so little to have been expected, or is so untenable in itself, as the one from which this particular provision has been attacked.
Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore,which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.
So, when teachers or masters become troublesome and inefficient--when, in short, the interests of the school would suffer from their retaining their places--I mind my knitting, events progress, circumstances glide past; I see one which, if pushed ever so little awry, will render untenable the post I wish to have vacated--the deed is done--the stumbling-block removed--and no one saw me: I have not made an enemy, I am rid of an incumbrance.
His opinion, for example, of Sir Henry Wotton's "Verses on the Queen of Bohemia"-that "there are few finer things in our language," is untenable and absurd.
There is no institution for whose history I have a deeper admiration; but I cannot honestly be ordained her minister, as my brothers are, while she refuses to liberate her mind from an untenable redemptive theolarty.
A swollen conscience caused him to see and hear even more than was warranted by his position, and his uncompromising nature compelled him to act on whatsoever he heard or saw: a savage custodian of public morals, he had in addition a perverse enthusiasm for lost causes, loved a minority for its own sake, and untenable tenets for theirs.
At first I thought he might be Tarzan of the Apes; but he neither speaks nor understands English, so that theory is untenable.
Or if this postulate is as untenable as all the others, still I am very glad that I did not then lose any fact of the majesty, and beauty, and pathos of the great certain measures for the sake of that fourth dimension of the poem which is not yet made palpable or visible.
How wise and how merciful is that provision of nature by which his earthly anchor is usually loosened by many little imperceptible tugs, until his consciousness has drifted out of its untenable earthly harbor into the great sea beyond!
Bravard believes that the whole enormous Pampean deposit is a sub-aerial formation, like sand-dunes: this seems to me to be an untenable doctrine.
But, unfortunately, that last hypothesis is untenable after an examination of the door--it's of oak, solid and massive.