Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical.


a. Weak or insubstantial; flimsy: a tenuous argument; a tenuous link between pieces of evidence.
b. Precarious or insecure: tenuous survival.
2. Long and thin; slender: tenuous strands.
3. Having a thin consistency: Pluto's tenuous envelope of gas.

[Latin tenuis; see ten- in Indo-European roots.]

ten′u·ous·ly adv.
ten′u·ous·ness n.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.tenuously - in a tenuous manner; "his works tenuously survive in the minds of a few scholars"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


[ˈtenjʊəslɪ] ADV [linked, connected] → vagamente
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


adv (= slightly)schwach, leicht; another world, connected to reality only tenuouslyeine andere Welt, nur schwach mit der Realität verbunden
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007
Mentioned in ?
References in periodicals archive ?
the President releases the police from the ethical and moral moorings that just very tenuously keep this country together.
Most of these women brush or bump up against each other, connected, sometimes tenuously, by the disappearance of the Golosovsky girls.
He has remained the Teflon Don of Springfield for so many years in part due to his destruction of democracy in what now could only tenuously be called a legislative chamber.
While a multitude of changes are expected for both teams in the off-season - particularly the under-performing Knicks who have been tenuously linked with a move for LeBron James - there are still plenty of talented stars for basketball aficionados to get excited about seeing in the flesh.
Every one of them is connected, however tenuously. They carry universal passports and travel widely and instantaneously, the closest thing yet to teleportation.
You cannot wear something that, however tenuously, could pass for being a wedding dress, and could therefore pass as an attempt to sabotage the bride's big day.
The Confederations Cup is continuing to give men a tenuously satisfying postseason football fix, afternoons and evenings on ITV.
They include recent but more tenuously connected developments, such as computer crime and acupuncture.
Mr Jones has begun to perform again as if he was given a mandate in the last election but he must realise that he had to join a coalition in order to gain the post that he now tenuously holds.
As highly visible institutions with perceived "deep pockets," colleges and universities are targets for lawsuits arising from injuries and property damage only tenuously tied to the schools' actions.
It notes that they are often cut off from their families and are "tenuously integrated within heritage Muslim communities."