Definition of tenuous in English:



  • 1Very weak or slight.

    ‘the tenuous link between interest rates and investment’
    • ‘As the debate has gone on, the arguments have got thinner and thinner and more tenuous from the Opposition.’
    • ‘The free-association part of my brain works overtime and I can base a wisecrack on the most tenuous of links between this and that.’
    • ‘Every night, it seems we read of yet another instance of a local trader virtually forced out of business by the hike in car park charges or, however tenuous the link, the introduction of car parking charges during the evening.’
    • ‘Yes I know the links to Enron are tenuous at best, but since when has that stopped various newspapers.’
    • ‘Today, I shall mostly be counting minutes, and considering the tenuous link between the words ‘delay’ and ‘deadline.’’
    • ‘Despite the tenuous nature of these links, professionals are obliged to advise and even persuade parents to follow the campaign's advice.’
    • ‘But the fact that his confirmation was put on thin ice by such tenuous allegations concerns many activists.’
    • ‘Five of the six miniatures represent couples, three of them in nocturnal landscapes, and their relationship to the text remains distinctly tenuous.’
    • ‘If I can just figure out some tenuous contextual link…’
    • ‘W.B. Yeats connection with the house is tenuous indeed and hangs by the slender thread of his infatuation with Con and Eva.’
    • ‘‘But there is a link - however tenuous - between the clubs and the hooligans, whether the clubs like it or not,’ he said.’
    • ‘The NY Times is mentioning a tenuous New York link but most cases have originated in Asia.’
    • ‘But the central idea - that of the unexciting English town staking its tenuous claim to historical distinction - is an intriguing one.’
    • ‘These comments provide a glimpse into the thinking of a layer of extremely wealthy Hollywood liberals or erstwhile liberals, whose commitment to democratic rights is increasingly tenuous.’
    slight, insubstantial, flimsy, negligible, weak, fragile, shaky, sketchy, doubtful, dubious, questionable, suspect
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    1. 1.1 Very slender or fine; insubstantial.
      ‘a tenuous cloud’
      • ‘Astronomical observations suggest that the Sun is presently moving through a warm, tenuous interstellar cloud made of dust and gas, one of several that make up our local galactic neighbourhood.’
      • ‘It would seem to be towards the edge of the power, if at all, and if it were within it, the particular thing might be regarded as insubstantial, tenuous or distant.’
      • ‘The tension is a purely musical one, a question of being right there with the musicians as they navigate this tenuous territory of delicate interaction.’
      • ‘This is similar to a tenuous dust cloud on Earth, visible only from the light it scatters or absorbs.’
      fine, thin, slender, attenuated, delicate, gossamer, fragile
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Late 16th century: formed irregularly from Latin tenuis ‘thin’ + -ous.