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[ten-der-loin] /ˈtɛn dərˌlɔɪn/
(in beef or pork) the tender meat of the muscle running through the sirloin and terminating before the ribs.
a cut of beef lying between the sirloin and ribs.
(initial capital letter)
  1. (formerly) a district in New York City noted for corruption and vice: so called because police there could eat well from their bribes.
  2. a similar district in any U.S. city.
Origin of tenderloin
1820-30, Americanism; tender1 + loin Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tenderloin
  • Cut beef tenderloin in slices one inch thick, and trim into circular shapes.
  • The tenderloin of beef which lies under the loin and rump is called fillet of beef.
  • The family does not seek sustenance in a rare tenderloin but in an underdone undercut or fillet.
  • The color is that same lovely pink you see on a dove tenderloin, or a slightly underdone chicken thigh.
  • In meat markets, fresh beef tenderloin sells for sixteen cent a pound.
  • Sprinkle surfaces of tenderloin medallions with lemon pepper.
  • It really depends on your oven and the size of your tenderloin.
  • Pork tenderloin pan-fried with veggies and capers atop pureed potatoes.
  • tenderloin means meat derived from the psoas muscle of cattle, sheep or swine.
  • The restaurant serves lunch and dinner, with such offerings as prosciutto-wrapped beef tenderloin and cider-cured pork tenderloin.
British Dictionary definitions for tenderloin


a tender cut of pork or other meat from between the sirloin and ribs
(US) a district of a city that is particularly noted for vice and corruption
Word Origin
sense 2 from Tenderloin, former district of New York City, regarded as an easy source of bribes for a corrupt policeman
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tenderloin

1828, "tender part of a loin of pork or beef," from tender (adj.) + loin. The slang meaning "police district noted for vice" appeared first 1887 in New York, on the notion of the neighborhood of the chief theaters, restaurants, etc., being the "juciest cut" for graft and blackmail.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for tenderloin

ten cents

noun phrase

A ten-dollar packet of narcotics; dime bag (1960s+ Narcotics)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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