What does tenor mean?

Definitions for tenor
ˈtɛn ərtenor

Here are all the possible meanings 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.

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.]

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  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. Henry Ford:

    Asking 'Who ought to be the boss' is like asking 'Who ought to be the tennor in the quartet' Obviously, the man who can sing tenor.

  2. Robert LaVoy Finicum:

    We used to could walk up to them and talk with the FBI agents in a friendly manner... but the tenor has changed, they have become more hardened. When they step out of their vehicles now they're stepping out with their rifles and they're not willing to engage in just friendly dialogue...

  3. Evelyn Waugh:

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

  4. Marc Fratepietro:

    In some markets issuers can optimize either price, size or tenor. In this market issuers can get all three, there's not a lot of upside to waiting.

  5. Marc Fratepietro:

    Market conditions are exceptionally favorable for issuers, in some markets issuers can optimize either price, size or tenor. In this market issuers can get all three.

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Translations for tenor

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    call in an official matter, such as to attend court
    • A. transpire
    • B. affront
    • C. loom
    • D. summon

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