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tenuous

[ten-yoo-uh s] /ˈtɛn yu əs/
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
1590-1600; tenu(ity) + -ous
Related forms
tenuously, adverb
tenuousness, noun
untenuous, adjective
untenuously, adverb
untenuousness, noun
Synonyms
1. attenuated. 4. insignificant, unimportant, trivial, trifling.
Antonyms
1. thick. 4. important, substantial.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for tenuousness

tenuous

/ˈtɛnjʊəs/
adjective
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
Derived Forms
tenuity (tɛˈnjʊɪtɪ), tenuousness, noun
tenuously, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Latin tenuis
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 tenuousness

tenuous

adj.

1590s, irregularly formed from Latin tenuis "thin," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch" (cf. Sanskrit tanuh "thin," literally "stretched out;" see tenet) + -ous. The correct form with respect to the Latin is tenuious. The sense of "having slight importance, not substantial" is found from c.1817.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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