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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

untenable

[uhn-ten-uh-buh l] /ʌnˈtɛn ə bəl/
adjective
1.
incapable of being defended, as an argument, thesis, etc.; indefensible.
2.
not fit to be occupied, as an apartment, house, etc.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50; un-1 + tenable
Related forms
untenability, untenableness, noun
Synonyms
1. baseless, groundless, unsound, weak, questionable.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for untenable
  • The falls might have saved the forests by making logging there untenable.
  • The stop-snitching movement is untenable as social policy.
  • It goes without saying that the vision was untenable.
  • What will never ease hatred and violence is the untenable status quo.
  • But as software becomes vital to many aspects of our lives, this situation seems to become more and more untenable.
  • Pure replacement and pure cultural diffusion seems untenable as a robust explanation.
  • Say you are agnostic, but to claim the negative is untenable.
  • Other instances abound, but to deny the role of faith in everyday life is untenable.
  • They don't seem to understand that the status quo is untenable.
  • Sea changes in policy, such as decriminalization or legalization of drugs, look politically untenable.
British Dictionary definitions for untenable

untenable

/ʌnˈtɛnəbəl/
adjective
1.
(of theories, propositions, etc) incapable of being maintained, defended, or vindicated
2.
unable to be maintained against attack
3.
(rare) (of a house, etc) unfit for occupation
Derived Forms
untenability, untenableness, noun
untenably, adverb
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 untenable
adj.

1640s, "incapable of being held against attack," from un- (1) "not" + past participle of tenable. Figurative sense is recorded from 1690s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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