What does tenor mean?

Definitions for tenor
ˈtɛn ərtenor

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

Princeton's WordNet

  1. tenor, tenor voicenoun

    the adult male singing voice above baritone

  2. tenornoun

    the pitch range of the highest male voice

  3. tenornoun

    an adult male with a tenor voice

  4. tenornoun

    a settled or prevailing or habitual course of a person's life

    "nothing disturbed the even tenor of her ways"

  5. tenor, strainadjective

    the general meaning or substance of an utterance

    "although I disagreed with him I could follow the tenor of his argument"

  6. tenoradjective

    (of a musical instrument) intermediate between alto and baritone or bass

    "a tenor sax"

  7. tenoradjective

    of or close in range to the highest natural adult male voice

    "tenor voice"


  1. tenornoun

    Musical part or section that holds or performs the main melody, as opposed to the contratenor bassus and contratenor altus, who perform countermelodies.

  2. tenornoun

    Musical range or section higher than bass and lower than alto.

  3. tenornoun

    A person, instrument or group that performs in the tenor range.

  4. tenornoun

    Tone, as of a conversation.

  5. tenornoun

    The subject in a metaphor to which attributes are ascribed.

  6. tenoradjective

    of or pertaining to the tenor part or range

    He has a tenor voice.

  7. Etymology: From tenor, from teneo. In music, from the notion of the one who holds the melody as opposed to the countertenor.


  1. Tenor

    A tenor is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the countertenor and baritone voice types. It is the highest male chest voice type. The tenor's vocal range extends up to C5. The low extreme for tenors is widely defined to be B2, though some roles include an A♭2 (two A♭s below middle C). At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to the second F above middle C (F5). The tenor voice type is generally divided into the leggero tenor, lyric tenor, spinto tenor, dramatic tenor, heldentenor, and tenor buffo or spieltenor.


  1. tenor

    In music, a tenor is a male singing voice whose vocal range lies between the countertenor and baritone. It is typically the highest of the ordinary male voice types. It is characterized by its distinctive and powerful quality. In finance, tenor refers to the length of time remaining in a contract, particularly involving loans, insurance policies, or bonds until the contract's agreed-upon obligations or duties have been fulfilled. Furthermore, tenor can also signify the general course, character, or mood of something like a piece of writing, an argument, or a discussion.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Tenornoun

    a state of holding on in a continuous course; manner of continuity; constant mode; general tendency; course; career

  2. Tenornoun

    that course of thought which holds on through a discourse; the general drift or course of thought; purport; intent; meaning; understanding

  3. Tenornoun

    stamp; character; nature

  4. Tenornoun

    an exact copy of a writing, set forth in the words and figures of it. It differs from purport, which is only the substance or general import of the instrument

  5. Tenornoun

    the higher of the two kinds of voices usually belonging to adult males; hence, the part in the harmony adapted to this voice; the second of the four parts in the scale of sounds, reckoning from the base, and originally the air, to which the other parts were auxillary

  6. Tenornoun

    a person who sings the tenor, or the instrument that play it


  1. Tenor

    A tenor is a type of classical male singing voice whose vocal range is one of the highest of the male voice types. The tenor's vocal range lies between C3, the C one octave below middle C, and, the A above middle C. In solo work, this range extends up to, or "tenor high C." The low extreme for tenors is roughly A♭2. At the highest extreme, some tenors can sing up to two Fs above middle C. The term tenor is also applied to instruments, such as the tenor saxophone, to indicate their range in relation to other instruments of the same group. Within opera, the lowest note in the standard tenor repertoire is A2, but few roles fall below C3. The high extreme: a few tenor roles in the standard repertoire call for a "tenor C". Some of the few top Cs in the standard operatic repertoire are either optional or interpolated by tradition. However, the highest demanded note in the standard tenor operatic repertoire is D5. Some operatic roles for tenors require a darker timbre and fewer high notes. In the leggero repertoire the highest note is F5, therefore, very few tenors can, given the raising of pitch since its composition, have this role in their repertoire without transposition. A shift in pitch since the mid 19th century means that the few written top Cs would have in fact demanded a note at least a semitone lower than today's standard pitch.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Tenor

    ten′ur, n. continuity of state: general run or currency: purport: the higher of the two kinds of voices usually belonging to adult males: the part next above the bass in a vocal quartet: one who sings tenor.—adj. pertaining to the tenor in music.—ns. Ten′or-clef, the C clef, placed on the fourth line; Ten′orist. [L. tenortenēre, to hold.]

Surnames Frequency by Census Records

  1. TENOR

    According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Tenor is ranked #79846 in terms of the most common surnames in America.

    The Tenor surname appeared 238 times in the 2010 census and if you were to sample 100,000 people in the United States, approximately 0 would have the surname Tenor.

    63% or 150 total occurrences were White.
    34.4% or 82 total occurrences were Black.

Anagrams for tenor »

  1. toner

  2. trone

  3. noter

How to pronounce tenor?

How to say tenor in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of tenor in Chaldean Numerology is: 5

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of tenor in Pythagorean Numerology is: 9

Examples of tenor in a Sentence

  1. Georg Christoph Lichtenberg:

    One cannot demand of a scholar that he show himself a scholar everywhere in society, but the whole tenor of his behavior must none the less betray the thinker, he must always be instructive, his way of judging a thing must even in the smallest matters be such that people can see what it will amount to when, quietly and self-collected, he puts this power to scholarly use.

  2. Alden Meyer:

    The tenor of the debate in the U.S. is being noticed, and to the extent that these deniers had some role in creating that dynamic within the Republican electorate, they’ve certainly had an impact.

  3. Thomas Gray:

    Far from the madding crowd's ignoble strife, Their sober wishes never learn'd to stray; Along the cool sequester'd vale of life They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.

  4. Jonathan Whitehead:

    It's a great environment for consumers, consumers typically have narrow pre-agreed risk management remits, but have extended their hedging activities by amount and tenor. Many are pushing hedges out to five years, and that's pretty unusual.

  5. Evelyn Waugh:

    An artist must be a reactionary. He has to stand out against the tenor of the age and not go flopping along.

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Translations for tenor

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"tenor." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/tenor>.

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    a blue dye obtained from plants or made synthetically
    • A. anil
    • B. lumberman
    • C. conveyance
    • D. crate

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