What does tenement mean?

Definitions for tenement
ˈtɛn ə məntten·e·ment

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tenement, tenement housenoun

    a run-down apartment house barely meeting minimal standards


  1. tenementnoun

    a building that is rented to multiple tenants, especially a low-rent, run-down one

  2. tenementnoun

    any form of property that is held by one person from another, rather than being owned

  3. Etymology: from tenement, from tenementum, from verb teneo.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Tenementnoun

    Any thing held by a tenant.

    Etymology: tenement, Fr. tenementum, law Latin.

    What reasonable man will not think that the tenement shall be made much better, if the tenant may be drawn to build himself some handsome habitation thereon, to ditch and inclose his ground? Edmund Spenser, on Ireland.

    ’Tis policy for father and son to take different sides;
    For then lands and tenements commit no treason. Dryden.

    Who has informed us, that a rational soul can inhabit no tenement, unless it has just such a sort of frontispiece. John Locke.

    Treat on, treat on, is her eternal note,
    And lands and tenements glide down her throat. Alexander Pope.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tenementnoun

    that which is held of another by service; property which one holds of a lord or proprietor in consideration of some military or pecuniary service; fief; fee

  2. Tenementnoun

    any species of permanent property that may be held, so as to create a tenancy, as lands, houses, rents, commons, an office, an advowson, a franchise, a right of common, a peerage, and the like; -- called also free / frank tenements

  3. Tenementnoun

    a dwelling house; a building for a habitation; also, an apartment, or suite of rooms, in a building, used by one family; often, a house erected to be rented

  4. Tenementnoun

    fig.: Dwelling; abode; habitation


  1. Tenement

    A tenement, in law, is anything that is held, rather than owned. This usage is a holdover from feudalism, which still forms the basis of all real-estate law in the English-speaking world, in which the monarch alone owned the allodial title to all the land within his kingdom. Under feudalism, land itself was never privately "owned" but rather was "held" by a tenant as a fee, being merely a legal right over land known in modern law as an estate in land. This was held from a superior overlord, or from the crown itself in which case the holder was termed a tenant-in-chief, upon some manner of service under one of a variety of feudal land tenures. The thing held is called a tenement, the holder is called a tenant, the manner of his holding is called a tenure, and the superior is called the landlord, or lord of the fee. These forms are still preserved in law, even though feudalism itself is extinct, because all real estate law has developed from them over centuries. Feudal land tenure existed in many varieties. The sole surviving form in the United States is that species of freehold known as free socage. Here the service to be performed is known and fixed, and not of a base or servile nature; the "lord of the fee" is the State itself, and the service due to this "lord" is payment of the taxes upon the real estate. The major consequences, in the modern world, of this feudal approach, as distinguished from ownership, are, first, the forfeiture of the tenement upon failure to perform the service, and second, the doctrine of eminent domain, whereby the "lord of the fee" might take back the estate, provided he make just compensation. Also existing in a vestigial form is the concept of escheat, under which an estate of a holder without heirs returns to the ownership of the state.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tenement

    ten′e-ment, n. anything held, or that may be held, by a tenant: a dwelling or habitation, or part of it, used by one family: one of a set of apartments in one building, each occupied by a separate family.—adjs. Tenement′al; Tenement′ary.

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  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tenement in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tenement in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of tenement in a Sentence

  1. Scott C. Holstad:

    We are the people in cheap hotels and tenement housing walking down side alleys talking to ourselves. We are the people the pushers the whores the crackheads the gunrunners the bangers the pimps the homeless the outlaws the crippled the freaks the damned. Drink to us my friends for we are the forgotten.

  2. Megan Smolenyak:

    She watched half of them go to the grave by the age of 3, if you look at their death certificates, it’s a variety of causes, but they all track back to poverty. They all tie to life in tenement slums.

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Translations for tenement

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • Mietskaserne, MietshausGerman
  • vecindad, vivienda, inquilinato, conventillo, casa de vecindad, bloque de viviendas, solarSpanish
  • logement, appartementFrench
  • tionóntánIrish
  • किराये का घरHindi
  • bérlemény, bérház, bérletHungarian
  • caseggiatoItalian
  • בֵּית דִירוֹתHebrew
  • verpachting, huurwoningDutch
  • cortiçoPortuguese
  • арендованное имуществоRussian
  • 物業單位Chinese

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"tenement." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 5 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tenement>.

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    the trait of lacking restraint or control; reckless freedom from inhibition or worry
    • A. abandon
    • B. snap
    • C. conveyance
    • D. mitre

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