One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A room or a set of rooms forming a separate residence within a house or block of apartments.
- ‘City planners were leveling block after block of tenements.’
- ‘Rents were horrendous for urban dwellers, with entire families doubling up in crowded single room tenements.’
- ‘Scotland's tenement flats are a well-loved part of urban culture.’
- ‘The flat was part of a refurbished block of tenements that belonged to a housing co-operative.’
- ‘Various diseases all too often swept through entire city blocks of tenements.’
- 1.1 A house divided into and rented out as separate residences, especially one that is run-down and overcrowded.
- ‘The flat was on the first floor of a tenement block, and had a lovely front room.’
- ‘It was a basement flat in an Edinburgh tenement, with something of a history.’
- ‘You do not specify which floor your property is on within the tenement.’
- ‘He spent his working life designing commercial premises, tenements and mansion houses.’
- ‘Finally they had arrived at a run down tenement that advertised rooms for cheap.’
2A piece of land held by an owner.
- ‘Their lands and tenements should be seized into the king's hands.’
- 2.1Law Any kind of permanent property, e.g. lands or rents, held from a superior.
- ‘He holds the tenement by a rent due to the maker of the recognizance.’
- ‘The grantor intends to reserve rights over the tenement granted.’
- ‘Permission had not been granted by the owners of the servient tenement for them to park their vehicles.’
- ‘The roadway is being used for obtaining access and egress to and from land outside the dominant tenement.’
Middle English (in the sense ‘tenure, property held by tenure’): via Old French from medieval Latin tenementum, from tenere ‘to hold’.
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