Free Translator Free Translator
Translators Dictionaries Courses Other
Home
English Dictionary      examples: 'day', 'get rid of', 'New York Bay'




Tenuous   /tˈɛnjəwəs/   Listen
Tenuous

adjective
1.
Having thin consistency.
2.
Very thin in gauge or diameter.
3.
Lacking substance or significance.  Synonyms: flimsy, fragile, slight, thin.  "A tenuous argument" , "A thin plot" , "A fragile claim to fame"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








Advanced search
     Find words:
Starting with
Ending with
Containing
Matching a pattern  

Synonyms
Antonyms
Quotes
Words linked to  

only single words



Share |





"Tenuous" Quotes from Famous Books



... no answer, but signaled Auchincloss in the engine-room for full speed. Now a subtle tremor possessed the vast fabric, mistress of the upper spaces and the night. The close-compacted lights beneath commenced to sprinkle out into tenuous dots. The tiny blazing fringe of Coney burned a moment very far below, then slid away, under the glass flooring. Still heading sharply upward, with altimeter needle steadily mounting, with the cold becoming ever greater, the liner flung herself out boldly ...
— The Flying Legion • George Allan England

... extinguish it, any more than the smell of a cook-shop will extinguish a ravenous appetite. The insatiable creditor will have money; and the depositories of that essential become, under his assaults, more and more meagre and tenuous. The managers of them at last get alarmed, and begin to withhold their issues of paper; which means that they begin to reduce their loans to the community. The money-market grows "tight," as it is phrased; the money-world feels generally ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Vol. I, No. 1, Nov. 1857 • Various

... weakened and faded away. All that was possible to medical skill had been done. As the money left by her mother dwindled, she had no anxiety, for she knew that the life she so tenderly cherished would not outlast the gold which lengthened out the tenuous chain of being. This last illness of her father's had been the salvation of her mind, the saving of her health. Maybe it had been the saving of her soul; for at times a curious contempt of life came upon her—she who had loved it so eagerly and fully. There descended on ...
— The Judgment House • Gilbert Parker

... reflection of the recently lit street lamps, her figure enveloped in furs, and holding her muff before her face as if it were a half-mask. Her sweet voice, greeting him, had breathed forth a cloud of vapor, white and tenuous, congealed by the cold. After various hesitating interviews, they had abandoned the garden. Their love had acquired the majestic importance of acknowledged fact, and from five to seven had taken refuge in the ...
— The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse • Vicente Blasco Ibanez

... scenes of the great autumn stampede to Dawson were picturesque, for the rushing river was crowded with boats all racing with one another. 'Neath lowering skies, past ghostly shores seen dimly through a tenuous curtain of sifting snowflakes, swept these craft; they went by ones and by twos, in groups and in flotillas; hourly the swirling current bore them along, and as the miles grew steadily less the spirits of the crews mounted. Loud laughter, songs, yells of greeting and ...
— The Winds of Chance • Rex Beach

... is—we are sailing under sealed orders. Do your work today, doing it the best you can, and live one day at a time. The man that does this is conserving his God-given energy, and not spinning it out into tenuous spider-threads that Fate will probably ...
— Little Journeys to the Homes of the Great, Volume 6 - Subtitle: Little Journeys to the Homes of Eminent Artists • Elbert Hubbard

... us sardonically. And in that instant while we were stricken with the shock of it, I saw that the figure was fading. It was a solid human form no longer! A silvery cast had come upon it. Another second passed; it was visibly growing tenuous, wraithlike! It was melting while we stared at it, until in that breathless instant I realized that the wall behind it was ...
— The White Invaders • Raymond King Cummings

... intervene, especially when the direct threat to the U.S. is ambiguous, tenuous, or difficult to define. Therefore, when intervention is necessary there is likely to be both a political and practical imperative to have allied or international involvement or at least the political cover of the UN, NATO, or ...
— Shock and Awe - Achieving Rapid Dominance • Harlan K. Ullman and James P. Wade

... sense of anomaly he felt was quickly assuaged by the extraordinary comfort and novelty of his environment. In the great Airedale mansion he experienced for the first time that ultimate triumph of civilization—a cup of tea served in bed before breakfast, with slices of bread-and-butter of tenuous and amazing fragile thinness. He was pleased, too, with the deference paid him as a representative of the cloth, even though it compelled him to a solemnity he did not inwardly feel. But most of all, undoubtedly, he was captivated by the loveliness ...
— Where the Blue Begins • Christopher Morley

... toward his gun. But in the middle of that movement the young officer pitched forward on his face. The sharp report of a pistol, the scrape of hoofs, the smell of black powder smoke, and the vision of the rider through the tenuous wreaths as he whirled his horse about—these things came to the dazed witnesses in ...
— When the West Was Young • Frederick R. Bechdolt

... thus I say that effigies of things, And tenuous shapes from off the things are sent, From off the utmost outside of the things, Which are like films or may be named a rind, Because the image bears like look and form With whatso body has shed it fluttering forth— A fact thou mayst, however dull thy wits, Well ...
— Of The Nature of Things • [Titus Lucretius Carus] Lucretius

... to find aboard a spaceship, but then The Columbus was a very strange ship. Bolted to its outer hull, just under the viewports, were wooden boxes full of red geraniums, and ivy wound tenuous green fronds over the gleaming hull that had withstood the bombardment of pinpoint meteors and turned away the deadly power of ...
— Homesick • Lyn Venable

... key-syllable that means stretching: tend, tender, tendon, tendril, tendency, extend, subtend, distend, pretend, contend, attendant, tense, tension, pretence, intense, intensive, ostensible, tent, tenterhook, portent, attention, intention, tenuous, attenuate, extenuate, antenna, tone, tonic, standard. The form of the key-syllable for the first set of words is usually ten, tent, or tin; that for the second tend, tens, tent, or ten. You may therefore easily confuse the two groups until ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... marsh, where the gray slaves glean, The hemp sprouts up, and the earth is seen Veiled with a tenuous mist of green. ...
— Young Adventure - A Book of Poems • Stephen Vincent Benet

... or away from each other's eyes as they strove to free themselves, to step forward, to clasp the other's outstretched hands. They reached down blindly, tearing at those thorny, clutching entanglements, pulling and tugging at those tenuous, tough words which would not let them say what they meant: sure, hopefully sure that in a moment . . . now . . . with the next breath, they would break free as no others had ever done before them, and crying out the truth and glory that was in them, ...
— The Brimming Cup • Dorothy Canfield Fisher

... amid the roar of cannon from Fort St. Angelo and the festive ringing of church bells, the solemn act was accomplished.'"[42] Here is an assertion regarding Mary's Conception which has only the most tenuous connection with religious experience and which was pronounced for ecclesiastical and political reasons. Here we have dogma at its worst. Here, indeed, it is so bad as to resemble many of the current political ...
— Preaching and Paganism • Albert Parker Fitch

... fragile, tenuous thread of brittle carbon, glowing steadily and continuously with a soft light agreeable to the eyes, was the tiny key that opened the door to a world revolutionized in its interior illumination. It was a triumphant vindication of Edison's reasoning powers, his clear perceptions, his insight ...
— Edison, His Life and Inventions • Frank Lewis Dyer and Thomas Commerford Martin

... room was brilliantly lighted: there was a constant stir of peacock silk, of yellow and apple green and coral lutestring, of white shoulders, in the gold radiance of candles like stiff rows of narcissi. Caroline drifted finally into the chamber back of the dining room, and they could hear the tenuous vibrations of the clavichord. Soon David had disappeared. The elder Penny discovered Myrtle seated sullenly at her mother's side; and, taking her arm, he escorted her in the direction of ...
— The Three Black Pennys - A Novel • Joseph Hergesheimer

... as he bent over to kiss her for goodbye a tenuous impenetrable barrier seemed to lie ...
— The Fruit of the Tree • Edith Wharton

... minor gratifications have gone. I had even forgotten they were ever ours. Sometimes now one wakes to a morning when the window is a golden square, a fine greeting to a good earth, and the whistle of a starling in the apple tree just outside is as tenuous as a thread of silver; the smell of coffee brings one up blithe as a boy about to begin play again. Yet something we feel to be wrong—a foggy memory of an ugly dream—ah, yes; the War, the War. The damned remembrance of things as they are drops its ...
— Waiting for Daylight • Henry Major Tomlinson

... sudden shaft of moonlight illuminates the grotto, it is expanded and transmuted into a gleaming flood of orchestral and harmonic color (two flutes, oboe, two harps glissando, string tremolos, cymbals pp). While they talk of the beggars sleeping in a corner of the cave, an oboe and flute trace a tenuous and melancholy phrase (doux et triste) which continues almost to the end of the scene; it leads into a quiet coda formed out of the ...
— Debussy's Pelleas et Melisande - A Guide to the Opera with Musical Examples from the Score • Lawrence Gilman

... widest commonalty spread. But the love that is wholly spiritual seems to some a supernatural thing, and if it be not discredited as utterly unreal (which at certain periods, if literature be a test, has been the case), it is apt to appear as a thing phantom-like, tenuous, and cold. But, in truth, this reality once experienced makes the other realities appear the shadows, and it is an ardour as passionate as any that is known to man. Its special note is a deliverance from self with a joy in abandonment to some thing other than self, like that ...
— Robert Browning • Edward Dowden

... to-day I cannot do so any longer. That is what I most miss,—the ability to lie a-sprawl in the spring grass and dream out an uncharted world,—a dream so vivid that, beside it, reality grew tenuous, and the actual world became one of childhood's ...
— Gallantry - Dizain des Fetes Galantes • James Branch Cabell

... found himself obliged to sprint smartly along the country road to keep any hope of ever again' viewing the wagon which the intervening water-course had withdrawn from his sight. That this hope had grown tenuous was evident in his relinquishment of his former caution, for when they again caught a glimpse of him he was forging along in the middle of the road without any effort at concealment. But as the wagon appeared in the perspective, stationary, hitched to the hedge of the graveyard, he recurred to his ...
— His Unquiet Ghost - 1911 • Charles Egbert Craddock (AKA Mary Noailles Murfree)

... paroxysm during which I had seemed to stand a great way off and listen to my own shrieks, there came to me a moment of calm. I knew that my one tenuous thread of hope lay in launching myself into that wild flood that was tearing through into the cove. I was not a strong swimmer, but a buoyant one. I might find refuge on some half-submerged rock on the shores of the cove—at least I should perish in the open, in the sunlight, ...
— Spanish Doubloons • Camilla Kenyon

... into a piece of elaborate music whose harmonious phrases came persuasively through a great disorderly murmur of voices and shuffling of feet on the gravel of that open space. An enormous crowd immersed in the electric light, as if in a bath of some radiant and tenuous fluid shed upon their heads by luminous globes, drifted in its hundreds round the band. Hundreds more sat on chairs in more or less concentric circles, receiving unflinchingly the great waves of sonority that ...
— A Set of Six • Joseph Conrad

... rain having rained itself out, the wind backed and the skies cleared. But all to a different mode and rhythm. A cold white sun shone out of a cold blue sky, diapered, to the north above the indigo and umber moorland and forest, with perspectives of tenuous silken-white cloud. Land and sky were alike washed clean, to a starkness and nakedness calling for warm clothing out of ...
— Deadham Hard • Lucas Malet

... overthrown except through the nihilistic process of revolution. So much has been written upon the exact location of sovereignty in the American federal State that it is difficult to escape the legalistic attitude, and to treat the matter purely as history. So various, so conflicting, and at times so tenuous, are the theories, that a flippant person might be forgiven did he turn from the whole discussion saying impatiently it was blind man's buff. But on one thing, at least, we must all agree. Once there was a king over this country, and ...
— Lincoln • Nathaniel Wright Stephenson

... front of this beam whirled a five- spindled wheel, governed by a chronometer which erred only a second a day. Between the poles of the galvanometer was stretched a slender thread of fused quartz plated with silver, only one one- thousandth of a millimetre in diameter, so tenuous that it could not be seen except in a bright light. It was a thread so slender that it might have been ...
— The Dream Doctor • Arthur B. Reeve

... the vapid hero, the two virtuous sisters, the leader of the banditti, the respectable, prosy governess, are a set of dolls fitted ingeniously into the framework of the plot. They have more substance than the tenuous shadows that glide through the pages of Mrs. Radcliffe's first story, but they move only as she deftly pulls the strings that set ...
— The Tale of Terror • Edith Birkhead

... business, I'm afraid. New York is quite contented to be exactly what she is. And the women!" He emitted a tenuous whistle. And then, "I don't suppose it ever occurred to you, Pope, that all these years you've been sheltering ...
— Paradise Garden - The Satirical Narrative of a Great Experiment • George Gibbs

... a thin, tenuous membrane. It had the right anatomical quality. Tight blown, quivering in the blast of noisy life. It was time for him to descend from the serene empyrean of words into the actual vortex. He went down slowly. "My soul is ...
— Crome Yellow • Aldous Huxley

... one other thing; the gas which uncle has discovered is so tenuous that it is a million times lighter than air; but it is ever at a terrible tension—I mean it is dangerous if not carefully treated. Last summer, one afternoon, a valve broke and a large quantity escaped from the reservoir, luckily on the ocean side. It caused a storm ...
— Visionaries • James Huneker

... He existed, though how to think of Him was difficult. Why a man? Why not some strange thing of the air, as a cuttlefish is of the sea? Something tenuous, of immense brain power, of immense will. Something cold. But why even that? Why not, as the cabalists had it, a Figure, arithmetical or geometrical, a Sound.... A Formula of some great undiscoverable indefinable ...
— The Wind Bloweth • Brian Oswald Donn-Byrne

... occurred—there might be other children not known to me who would expect some share in the modest estate; finding the property willed to Emily upon so tenuous a provision, they might easily charge that that provision had been broken, when proof and disproof would be equally difficult, and Mrs. Drainger's wish that her companion (despite her singular testament) be her sole heir would then not be met. The will simply provided that, ...
— The Best Short Stories of 1919 - and the Yearbook of the American Short Story • Various

... which the wind had whispered in the sloping field and for which she had no name—it was Happiness. Faintly she shadowed it forth, but yet she could not see it. It was only a pearl-pale wraith, almost formless, too tenuous to be touched by her hands, and too aloof to be spoken to. Pan had told her that he was the giver of happiness, but he had given her only unrest and fever and a longing which could not be satisfied. Again there was a want, ...
— The Crock of Gold • James Stephens

... jelly-fish such as sails in our summer seas, bell-shaped and of enormous size—far larger, I should judge, than the dome of St. Paul's. It was of a light pink colour veined with a delicate green, but the whole huge fabric so tenuous that it was but a fairy outline against the dark blue sky. It pulsated with a delicate and regular rhythm. From it there depended two long, drooping, green tentacles, which swayed slowly backwards and forwards. This gorgeous vision passed gently ...
— Tales of Terror and Mystery • Arthur Conan Doyle

... had come into being at the University, and often they functioned in pairs, one devoted to proving a proposition, and the other to disproving it. And among these pairs of schools two, in particular, seemed to exist on a most tenuous basis. Their avowed mission was to settle the age-old argument concerning the relative influences of heredity ...
— When I Grow Up • Richard E. Lowe

... may obey Nature's universal behest, and change his form from the physical of to-day to the more tenuous of a finer realm. He may die: but his music lives on. He perhaps has played his part in the world symphony and, his present work finished, he lays his instrument aside. This body of ours is the instrument of the spirit: no wedding feast without a wedding ...
— Spirit and Music • H. Ernest Hunt

... assistance would seem to be necessary, yet the government is not as yet ready to accept IMF requirements. Turkmenistan's 1999 deal to ship 20 billion cubic meters (bcm) of natural gas through Russia's Gazprom pipeline helped alleviate the 2000 fiscal shortfall. Inadequate fiscal restraint and the tenuous nature of Turkmenistan's 2001 gas deals, combined with a lack of economic reform, will limit progress in the ...
— The 2001 CIA World Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... was shaping the destiny of parties and of the nation. It was an issue that politicians dodged and candidates evaded, that all parties avoided, that publicists feared, and that presidents and congressmen tried to hide under the tenuous fabric of their compromises. But it was an issue that persisted in keeping alive and that would not down, for it was an issue between right and wrong. Three times the great Clay maneuvered to outflank his opponents over the smoldering fires of the slavery issue, but he died before the ...
— The Boss and the Machine • Samuel P. Orth

... dilatation, inflation, subtilization[obs3]. vaporization, evaporation, diffusion, gassification[obs3]. ether &c. (gas) 334. V. rarefy, expand, dilate, subtilize[obs3]. Adj. rare, subtile, thin, fine, tenuous, compressible, flimsy, slight; light &c. 320; cavernous, spongy &c. (hollow) 252. rarefied &c. ...
— Roget's Thesaurus

... investigation carried on in the physical laboratory of the Case School of Applied Science. According to the undulatory theory of light, all space is filled with a medium called ether, like air, but as much more tenuous than air as air is more tenuous than the densest metals. As the earth is moving through space at the rate of several miles a second, we should expect to feel a breeze as we rush through the ether, like that of the air when in an automobile we are moving with but one thousandth part ...
— The Future of Astronomy • Edward C. Pickering

... stipitate, nodding; the calyculus variable, generally prominent, more or less distinctly marked by fine, delicate radiating venules, the margin denticulate, the teeth numerous and slender, supporting the well-defined globose net; network made up of very tenuous threads, forming rather small irregular brownish nodules and showing only here and there a free extremity; stipe generally short, two or three times the diameter of the sporangium, sometimes longer, tapering upward, brown, ...
— The North American Slime-Moulds • Thomas H. (Thomas Huston) MacBride

... tenuous blue light of the dawn Salazar was gesticulating in the doorway. I felt a sudden repulsion; a feeling of intense disgust. O'Brien lying there, I almost wished alive again—I wanted to have him again, rather than that I should have been relieved of him by that ...
— Romance • Joseph Conrad and F.M. Hueffer

... this was an independent Roman development without a prototype on the Greek stage and neatly refutes Weise and LeGrand by proving that there are no extant Greek fragments sufficient to furnish a ground for any but the most tenuous argument. Above all, he correctly interprets the poet's aim with the dictum: "Praeterquam quod hac persona optime utitur ad actionem bene continuandam id maxime spectat ut per eam spectatorum risum captet." And this from a German ...
— The Dramatic Values in Plautus • William Wallace Blancke

... passing just then a deep gorge, blue beneath him. From it his question reascended to him, tenuous and fluttering, like a lost bird on ...
— The Trimming of Goosie • James Hopper

... with the public, young Douglass lost courage. The stake for which he played was so great! Like a man who has put his last dollar upon the hazard, he was ready to snatch his gold from the boards. The whole thing seemed weakly tenuous at dress-rehearsal, and Royleston, half-drunk as usual, persistently bungled his lines. The children in the second act squeaked like nervous poll-parrots, and even Helen's sunny brow was darkened ...
— The Light of the Star - A Novel • Hamlin Garland

... its place was a tenuous refraction that told where it had been. That and a thin layer of perfectly reflective copper ... colorless now, but Manning knew it was copper, for it represented the continuation of ...
— Empire • Clifford Donald Simak

... astonished while it delighted her daughter. She combined twenty styles into one style of terrifying originality. She conceived dresses of a complexity beyond the labor of any but a divinely inspired needle, and others again whose simplicity was almost too tenuous for human speech. She discussed robes whose trailing and voluminous richness could with difficulty be supported by ten strong attendants, and she had heard of a dress the fabric whereof was of such gossamer ...
— Mary, Mary • James Stephens

... to the next world, while Emerson's transcendentalism was based on the wider search for the unknowable, unlimited in any way or by anything except the vast bounds of innate goodness, as it might be revealed to him in any phenomena of man, Nature, or God. This distinction, tenuous, in spite of the definite-sounding words, we like to believe has something peculiar to Emerson in it. We like to feel that it superimposes the one that makes all transcendentalism but an intellectual state, based on the theory of innate ideas, the reality of thought and the ...
— Essays Before a Sonata • Charles Ives

... {perichôrêsis}) to which he attributed the formation of the world. He called that force Mind (νους {nous}), but his own description of it shows that he regarded it as corporeal, though he thought it was something more tenuous and unmixed than other bodies. There is little doubt that he selected the term in order to mark the identity of the source of motion in the world with that in the animal organism. That again is in accordance with the scientific interests ...
— The Legacy of Greece • Various

... brook, the splashes of sunlight through the trees, the sigh of the wind, the shout of the rapid,—all these were there, distinctly to be felt in their most ethereal and beautiful forms. And yet it was all slight and tenuous as though the crack of a twig would break it through—so that over it continually like a grand full organ-tone repeated the notes of ...
— The Blazed Trail • Stewart Edward White

... explorers. On the night of February 24 two or three of the officers and Ledyard were sitting in the mess room of Irkutsk playing cards. They might laugh at Ledyard. They also laughed with him. Wherever he went, went gayety. Gales of boisterous laughter were on the wind. Hopes as tenuous as the wind were in the air. One of the great Bering's sons was there, no doubt telling tales of discovery that set each man's veins jumping. Suddenly a tremendous jingling of bells announced some midnight arrival post-haste at the barracks' door. Before the card players ...
— Vikings of the Pacific - The Adventures of the Explorers who Came from the West, Eastward • Agnes C. Laut



Words linked to "Tenuous" :   tenuity, insignificant, flimsy, unimportant, fragile



Copyright © 2020 Free-Translator.com