What does tenacious mean?

Definitions for tenacious
təˈneɪ ʃəstena·cious

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word tenacious.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. retentive, recollective, long, tenaciousadjective

    good at remembering

    "a retentive mind"; "tenacious memory"

  2. dogged, dour, persistent, pertinacious, tenacious, unyieldingadjective

    stubbornly unyielding

    "dogged persistence"; "dour determination"; "the most vocal and pertinacious of all the critics"; "a mind not gifted to discover truth but tenacious to hold it"- T.S.Eliot; "men tenacious of opinion"

  3. coherent, tenaciousadjective

    sticking together

    "two coherent sheets"; "tenacious burrs"


  1. tenaciousadjective

    clinging to an object or surface; adhesive

  2. tenaciousadjective

    unwilling to yield or give up; dogged

  3. tenaciousadjective

    holding together; cohesive

  4. tenaciousadjective

    having a good memory; retentive

  5. Etymology: From tenax, from tenere.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tenaciousadjective

    Etymology: tenax, Lat.

    A resolute tenacious adherence to well chosen principles, makes the face of a governor shine in the eyes of those that see his actions. South.

    Griping, and still tenacious of thy hold,
    Wou’d’st thou the Grecian chiefs, though largely soul’d,
    Shou’d give the prises they had gain’d. Dryden.

    You reign absolute over the hearts of a stubborn and freeborn people, tenacious to madness of their liberty. Dryden.

    True love’s a miser; so tenacious grown,
    He weighs to the least grain of what’s his own. Dryden.

    Men are tenacious of the opinions that first possess them. John Locke.

    He is tenacious of his own property, and ready to invade that of others. Arbuthnot.

    The memory in some is very tenacious; but yet there seems to be a constant decay of all our ideas, even of those which are struck deepest, and in minds the most retentive. John Locke.

    Three equal round vessels filled, the one with water, the other with oil, the third with molten pitch, and the liquors stirred alike to give them a vortical motion; the pitch by its tenacity will lose its motion quickly, the oil being less tenacious will keep it longer, and the water being less tenacious will keep it longest, but yet will lose it in a short time. Newt.


  1. tenacious

    Tenacious refers to a person, thing, or action that is determined, persistent, or relentless in maintaining or adhering to something. It can also describe something that holds together firmly, is strong or marked by a firm grip or high adhesive quality.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tenaciousadjective

    holding fast, or inclined to hold fast; inclined to retain what is in possession; as, men tenacious of their just rights

  2. Tenaciousadjective

    apt to retain; retentive; as, a tenacious memory

  3. Tenaciousadjective

    having parts apt to adhere to each other; cohesive; tough; as, steel is a tenacious metal; tar is more tenacious than oil

  4. Tenaciousadjective

    apt to adhere to another substance; glutinous; viscous; sticking; adhesive

  5. Tenaciousadjective

    niggardly; closefisted; miserly

  6. Tenaciousadjective

    holding stoutly to one's opinion or purpose; obstinate; stubborn

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tenacious

    tē-nā′shus, adj. retaining or holding fast: apt to stick: stubborn.—adv. Tenā′ciously.—ns. Tenā′ciousness, Tenac′ity, quality of being tenacious: the quality of bodies which makes them stick to others. [L. tenaxtenēre.]

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tenacious in Chaldean Numerology is: 8

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tenacious in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of tenacious in a Sentence


    Most men act real stupid trying to restrain the emotions of an emotionally strong and tenacious woman. They often find themselves in an -emotional quick sand- the more they wiggle, the deeper they sink-after someone dies of course! what stupidity!

  2. Victor Hugo:

    Love is like a tree: it grows by itself, roots itself deeply in our being and continues to flourish over a heart in ruin. The inexplicable fact is that the blinder it is, the more tenacious it is. It is never stronger than when it is completely unreasonable.

  3. Reed Scherer:

    It really shows how tenacious life is, the possibilities are just beyond our prediction.

  4. Arthur Schopenhauer:

    The memory should be specially taxed in youth, since it is then that it is strongest and most tenacious. But in choosing the things that should be committed to memory the utmost care and forethought must be exercised; as lessons well learnt in youth are never forgotten.

  5. Olivia Phillips:

    Kim Kardashian herself.Read MoreBut Huda is the best kind of success story, tenacious, talented, a working mum with a family...( Kim Kardashian herself.Read MoreBut Huda's) the poster girl for the kind of entrepreneurial spirit we pride ourselves on in Middle Easts.

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Translations for tenacious

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"tenacious." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 28 Sep. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tenacious>.

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    the act of giving an account describing incidents or a course of events
    • A. vigorish
    • B. recital
    • C. serendipity
    • D. elation

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