One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
(in bridge, whist, and similar card games) a pair of cards in one hand which rank immediately above and below a card held by an opponent, e.g. the ace and queen in a suit of which an opponent holds the king.
- ‘Not wishing to lead from one of his tenaces, he opened the ten of spades.’
- ‘Without these tenaces, you would prefer the lead to come up to your partners tenaces.’
- ‘These tenaces are revealed to the defenders, providing them with additional defense advantages.’
- ‘I give the declarer a chance to lead trumps into my tenaces.’
- ‘Throwing the lead back to defenders after eliminating safe suits can force them to lead into your tenaces.’
Mid 17th century: from French, from Spanish tenaza, literally ‘pincers’.
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