From Anglo-Norman tenour, from Old French tenor (“substance, contents, meaning, sense; tenor part in music”), from Latin tenor (“course, continuance; holder”), from teneō (“I hold”). In music, from the notion of the one who holds the melody as opposed to the countertenor.
tenor (plural tenors)
|Examples (A tenor singing "O Canada")|
- (archaic, music) Musical part or section that holds or performs the main melody, as opposed to the contratenor bassus and contratenor altus, who perform countermelodies.
- (obsolete) duration; continuance; a state of holding on in a continuous course; general tendency; career.
- Along the cool sequestered vale of life / They kept the noiseless tenor of their way.
- (music) Musical range or section higher than bass and lower than alto.
- A person, instrument, or group that performs in the tenor (higher than bass and lower than alto) range.
- Tone, as of a conversation.
- (linguistics) The subject in a metaphor to which attributes are ascribed.
- (finance) Time to maturity of a bond.
- Stamp; character; nature.
- This success would look like chance, if it were perpetual, and always of the same tenor.
- (law) An exact copy of a writing, set forth in the words and figures of it. It differs from purport, which is only the substance or general import of the instrument.
- (Can we find and add a quotation of Bouvier to this entry?)
- That course of thought which holds on through a discourse; the general drift or course of thought; purport; intent; meaning; understanding.
- When it [the bond] is paid according to the tenor.
- Does not the whole tenor of the divine law positively require humility and meekness to all men?
- (voice types): soprano, mezzo-soprano, contralto (female); countertenor, tenor, baritone, bass (male)
- (music) (Initialism of soprano, alto, tenor, bass.)
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.
tenor (not comparable)
- Of or pertaining to the tenor part or range.
- He has a tenor voice.
- 1962, Frank Howard Richardson, For Parents Only: The Doctor Discusses Discipline
- Many a star athlete has very little hair anywhere except what he wears on top of his head, and a voice that is absolutely tenor.
- 2009, Richard Smith, Can't You Hear Me Calling: The Life of Bill Monroe, Father of Bluegrass, Da Capo Press (ISBN 9780786731169)
- Sometimes Charlie would sing notes that were more tenor than original melody, forcing Bill to sing a high baritone-style line.
- 2012, Lily George, Captain of Her Heart, Harlequin (ISBN 9781459221239), page 173
- The door swung open, and a masculine voice—a little more tenor than Brookes's bass tones—called, “Brookes, come in. Do you have your colleague with you?”
- 2015, Michael J. Senger Sr., The Connection, Lulu Press, Inc (ISBN 9781257217854)
- Kahn was not a big man and he had a voice that was a little more tenor than most preferred.
- tenor (musical range, person, instrument or group performing in the tenor range)
From teneō (“hold”).
- English: tenor
- French: teneur, ténor
- Icelandic: tenór
- Italian: tenore
- Portuguese teor, tenor
- Spanish: tenor
- tenor in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short (1879) A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press
- tenor in Charlton T. Lewis (1891) An Elementary Latin Dictionary, New York: Harper & Brothers
- TENOR in Charles du Fresne du Cange’s Glossarium Mediæ et Infimæ Latinitatis (augmented edition, 1883–1887)
- tenor (singing voice or singer; pitch of a musical instrument)
- “tenor” in The Bokmål Dictionary.
- tenor (as above)
- “tenor” in The Nynorsk Dictionary.
- (fr) Godefroy, Frédéric, Dictionnaire de l'ancienne langue française et de tous ses dialectes du IXe au XVe siècle (1881) (tenor, feminine noun, possession)
- tenure on the Anglo-Norman On-Line Hub