tenuous

[ten-yoo-uhs]
adjective
1.
thin or slender in form, as a thread.
2.
lacking a sound basis, as reasoning; unsubstantiated; weak: a tenuous argument.
3.
thin in consistency; rare or rarefied.
4.
of slight importance or significance; unsubstantial: He holds a rather tenuous position in history.
5.
lacking in clarity; vague: He gave a rather tenuous account of his past life.

Origin:
1590–1600; tenu(ity) + -ous

tenuously, adverb
tenuousness, noun
untenuous, adjective
untenuously, adverb
untenuousness, noun


1. attenuated. 4. insignificant, unimportant, trivial, trifling.


1. thick. 4. important, substantial.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tenuous (ˈtɛnjʊəs)
 
adj
1.  insignificant or flimsy: a tenuous argument
2.  slim, fine, or delicate: a tenuous thread
3.  diluted or rarefied in consistency or density: a tenuous fluid
 
[C16: from Latin tenuis]
 
tenuity
 
n
 
'tenuousness
 
n
 
'tenuously
 
adv

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

tenuous
1597, irregularly formed from L. tenuis "thin," from PIE base *ten- "to stretch" (cf. Skt. tanuh "thin," lit. "stretched out;" see tenet) + -ous. The correct form with respect to the L. root would be tenuious. The sense of "having slight importance, not substantial" is found from c.1817.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Most of the museums do a fine job, but they are tenuously related to the
  well-managed libraries.
Even if only linked tenuously, many would promote the negative aspect, perhaps
  because they might support an agenda opposed to it.
It seems impossible that life could go on in such a waterless place but,
  however tenuously, it does.
Both have been applied more and more tenuously to cover centuries of
  technological and sociological change.
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