Main definitions of tenor in English

: tenor1tenor2

tenor1

noun

  • 1A singing voice between baritone and alto or countertenor, the highest of the ordinary adult male range.

    ‘the Serenade for tenor, horn, and strings’
    [as modifier] ‘he had a good tenor voice’
    • ‘He hummed loudly in his clear tenor voice as she sang.’
    • ‘He serenaded us with an exquisite tenor voice - the first time he had ever sang in public.’
    • ‘We've always had a choir made up of boy and girl trebles, together with male altos, tenors and basses.’
    • ‘He was singing in a quiet tenor voice.’
    • ‘He exercises great control over his magnificent tenor voice.’
    • ‘We soon came across the source of this noise - a young man, not unhandsome and with a beautiful tenor voice.’
    • ‘The group of unaccompanied voices comprises bass, baritone, tenor, mezzo-soprano and soprano.’
    • ‘Both of them have soaring tenors.’
    • ‘His voice has a calmness to it that is almost chilling, and it is medium range for a male tenor.’
    • ‘Your teachers were all baritones and even your tenor voice has a distinct baritonal touch to it.’
    • ‘There is some confusion about exactly what voice he sang; soprano, alto, tenor and bass parts are all ascribed to him.’
    • ‘The singing voice, especially the tenor voice, recorded remarkably well with this primitive process.’
    • ‘A third passage groups the sopranos with the tenors, and the altos with the basses.’
    • ‘His soft voice falls somewhere between a baritone and a tenor.’
    • ‘The tenor soloist sings in Hebrew.’
    • ‘There was someone else in the room - male from the sound of their light tenor voice.’
    • ‘His voice is vibrant and robust throughout the entire tenor range.’
    • ‘He is also a talented musician with an outstanding tenor voice.’
    • ‘There are eight sopranos, four mezzos, one counter-tenor, three tenors, seven baritones, and two basses.’
    • ‘One has to go back to the young Pavarotti to hear a tenor voice that caresses the ear like this.’
    1. 1.1A singer with a tenor voice.
      • ‘The society is currently looking for tenors, basses, altos and sopranos to join the adult choir.’
      • ‘He was an opera singer who became an agent for divas and tenors.’
      • ‘He was a tenor with the male voice choir for over 40 years.’
      • ‘He often ruminated over whether he was a tenor or a baritone, the upper register of his voice being naturally weaker than the lower.’
      • ‘He is a lightish tenor with a lovely voice and great promise.’
      • ‘There is an interview with my favourite tenor in Classical Singer Magazine.’
      • ‘Once he warms up, the other standout singer is the tenor.’
      • ‘The vocalists met a tenor who wanted to become their lead singer.’
      • ‘He has sung as a tenor for the European Chamber Opera.’
      • ‘She greatly enjoyed the songs of tenors such as John McCormack and Frank Patterson.’
      • ‘He was a great tenor singer and loved to entertain and delight the crowds.’
      • ‘The tenor who sings Arturo has a fearsome vibrato.’
      • ‘The most famous Italians of the period were performers: the conductor Arturo Toscanini and the tenor Enrico Caruso.’
      • ‘The tenor was in poor voice, and the fans let him know it.’
      • ‘The all-male line-up is two countertenors, one tenor, two baritones, and one bass.’
      • ‘The piece opens with a solo tenor singing to a relatively straightforward piano accompaniment.’
      • ‘Any singers, especially tenors and basses, would be most welcome to join.’
      • ‘The work requires a full orchestra and tenor and baritone soloists.’
      • ‘It was very unusual for a lyric tenor to sing all those notes in full voice.’
      • ‘There are seven women and five men, comprising five sopranos, three mezzo sopranos, two tenors and three baritones.’
    2. 1.2A part written for a tenor voice.
      ‘several members of the party had been able to put in the tenor and the bass’
      • ‘The second movement, a tenor solo movement, depicts the young lover recollecting his sweet days with the departed.’
      • ‘He offers one of the most pleasing tenors that I have heard in a long time.’
  • 2[usually as modifier] An instrument, especially a saxophone, trombone, tuba, or viol, of the second or third lowest pitch in its family.

    ‘a tenor sax’
    • ‘This threesome functions like a jazz trio, particularly when Parker plays tenor sax.’
    • ‘She could play a mean tenor saxophone.’
    • ‘There's a lot of full-on tenor sax blasting over ferocious percussion barrages.’
    • ‘The leader plays soprano, alto, tenor and baritone saxes.’
    • ‘This CD sees the introduction of the tenor guitar to his repertoire.’
    • ‘His jazz tenor, alto and soprano saxophones and arrangements pervade the proceedings.’
    • ‘He has a big, beautiful tone on the tenor sax.’
    • ‘He took up the clarinet and tenor sax with some style.’
    • ‘His tenor sax almost steals the show.’
    • ‘He taught himself to play the clarinet then tenor sax.’
    • ‘The tuba, the xylophone, and the tenor guitar make excellent choices.’
    • ‘There are very few pieces for tenor sax.’
    • ‘If you love the tenor saxophone, you owe it to yourself to hear him.’
    • ‘I'm standing just outside the band room, clutching my heavy tenor saxophone.’
    • ‘He chose to play the tenor saxophone, as it was one of the only instruments left for him to choose other than the flute.’
    • ‘He tours to support his latest work featuring tenor sax, flute and alto flute.’
    • ‘I recognized the tenor saxophone of John Coltrane and my heart started to race.’
    • ‘It's a six-CD box set; they're all short, original songs on tenor saxophone.’
    • ‘He avoided conventional chords and melodies on his 30-year-old tenor trombone.’
    • ‘He was a tenor saxophonist and a violinist.’
    1. 2.1The largest and deepest bell of a ring or set.
      • ‘First to be raised was the tenor bell, which is the oldest and largest.’
      • ‘The worst case is when the tenor bell and the smaller bell opposite it are moving in the same direction at the same time.’
      • ‘The effect of hearing the tenor bell at the end of each row is pleasing to the ear.’
      • ‘The deep tenor bell rang out for a minute before the crowd sang the hymn.’
      • ‘The existing bells, including the tenor weighing 1.25 tons, were cast in 1932.’
      • ‘The abbey's tenor bell chimed for the 101st time.’

Origin

Late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin, based on tenere to hold; so named because the tenor part was allotted (and therefore ‘held’) the melody.

Pronunciation:

tenor

/ˈtɛnə/

Main definitions of tenor in English

: tenor1tenor2

tenor2

noun

  • 1[in singular] The general meaning, sense, or content of something.

    ‘the general tenor of the debate’
    • ‘I disagree not only with the substance, but also with the tenor of his article.’
    • ‘He gives the reader a good sense of the tenor of the moment.’
    • ‘From the tenor of your article his affection for the building is clear.’
    • ‘I'm not thrilled with the tenor of the proceedings because I'm a conservative.’
    • ‘The tenor of this article would suggest left-wing bias.’
    • ‘The tenor of his campaign will not help achieve reconciliation between political parties.’
    • ‘The suspect proclaims his innocence and can't believe the tenor of the newspaper reports.’
    • ‘I've been really gratified by the tenor of the responses here.’
    • ‘There is a general tenor of pride and a sense of accomplishment.’
    • ‘The tenor in these passages is assertive, quite at odds with the almost diffident tone of the rest of the book.’
    • ‘Though each episode has its own tenor, common themes unite the season.’
    • ‘Here's an excerpt that summarizes the tenor of the editorial.’
    • ‘What we were trying to capture was a moment or an emotional tenor instead of note-for-note perfection.’
    • ‘This quote is representative of the general tenor of the site.’
    • ‘It would not be an exaggeration to describe the tenor of the letter as being somewhat desperate.’
    • ‘Ultimately, it is not about language or facts; it is about the whole tenor of the book.’
    • ‘His impassioned defence of free speech changed the tenor of the debate.’
    • ‘The tenor of their talks has definitely changed.’
    • ‘While the senator's speech was familiar, the tenor of the questions afterwards was revealing.’
    • ‘This progressivism has provided the dominant tenor of most Western art criticism for at least half a century.’
    1. 1.1A settled or prevailing character or direction, especially the course of a person's life or habits.
      ‘the even tenor of life in the kitchen was disrupted the following day’
      • ‘Such moments set the tenor for the place, where a sense of old-fashioned decorum co-exists with informality.’
      • ‘His visit disturbed the even tenor of life in the areas of the City through which he passed.’
      • ‘Eventually the even tenor of the days at the castle was interrupted by preparations for the festival.’
      • ‘The tenor of his press conferences is different from that of past presidents.’
      • ‘Once these jurors were excused and their replacements seated in the jury box, the whole tenor of the day changed.’
      • ‘It was at this critical moment that the fundamental tenor of Sephardic life began to change into its modern form.’
      • ‘From what I hear, the tenor of book publishing seems to be turning up, imitating the stock market.’
  • 2Law
    The actual wording of a document.

    • ‘I trust the commission to understand the tenor of the legislation.’
    • ‘From the tenor of the letters, it is clear to the Court that a parent dictated them.’
    • ‘Nothing in the tenor of that speech suggests that the court was seeking to exclude the operation of issue estoppel in these proceedings.’
  • 3Finance
    The time that must elapse before a bill of exchange or promissory note becomes due for payment.

    • ‘For the fixed rate tranche, market sources suggested the tenor will be either one or three years.’
    • ‘The bonds will have an eight-year tenor at a coupon rate of 11.70 per cent payable annually.’
    • ‘The Central Bank came into the market with term deposits for the 7, 14, 21 and 32 days tenors.’
    • ‘The floating rate tranche would have a longer tenor of 12 years.’
    • ‘The bond had a tenor of five years, with the offer amount initially limited to US $75 million.’

Origin

Middle English: from Old French tenour, from Latin tenor course, substance, import of a law, from tenere to hold.

Pronunciation:

tenor

/ˈtɛnə/