capable of being held, defended, or maintained; reasonable or justifiable.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



defensible, justifiable, reasonable, sound, supportable, viable


indefensible, unjustifiable, unreasonable, unsound

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun tenability, tenablenesses, tenableness, tenabilities
Verb None
Adjective tenable
Adverb None

Example Sentences

  • The scientist presented a tenable theory that explained the phenomenon observed in the experiment.

  • The lawyer argued that his client’s position was tenable and that the evidence supported his case.

  • The company’s financial plan was not tenable, and they had to revise it to avoid bankruptcy.

  • The politician’s position on the issue was not tenable as it contradicted the constitution and public interest.


The word “tenable” is commonly used to describe a position, theory, or argument that can be held, defended, or maintained. It indicates that something is reasonable or justifiable and has a solid foundation to support it. This word is often used in academic, scientific, legal, and business contexts.

The prefix “un-” can be added to “tenable” to create the opposite meaning, “untenable,” which describes something that is not capable of being held, defended, or maintained. The suffix “-ity” can be added to “tenable” to form the noun “tenability,” which refers to the quality of being able to be held, defended, or maintained.

The root word of “tenable” is “ten,” which comes from the Latin word “tenere,” meaning “to hold.” Other related words that share this root include “tenure,” “retain,” and “contain.” These words all relate to the idea of holding or maintaining something.

Overall, “tenable” is a versatile word that conveys the idea of something being reasonable, justifiable, and capable of being held or maintained. It is a useful term in various contexts, from academia to business, and its meaning can be modified with common prefixes and suffixes.