Tenor

tenor [tenor tenors] noun, adjective BrE [ˈtenə(r)]
NAmE [ˈtenər]
noun
1. countable a man's singing voice with a range just below the lowest woman's voice; a man with a tenor voice
compare alto, baritone, bass, countertenor
2. singular a musical part written for a tenor voice
3. singular the ~ of sth (formal) the general character or meaning of sth
I was encouraged by the general tenor of his remarks.
Word Origin:
n. senses 1 to 2 and adj. late Middle English Old French medieval Latin tenere ‘to hold’
n. sense 3 Middle English Old French tenour Latin tenor ‘course, substance, import of a law’ tenere ‘to hold’
Example Bank:
The whole tenor of the meeting was very positive.
Three celebrated tenors sang at the president's inauguration.
We persuaded Jake to sing tenor.
The general tenor of her argument was that Parliament should redress the balance between rich and poor.
adjective only before noun (of a musical instrument)
with a range of notes similar to that of a tenor voice
a tenor saxophone
compare alto, bass, soprano
Word Origin:
n. senses 1 to 2 and adj. late Middle English Old French medieval Latin tenere ‘to hold’
n. sense 3 Middle English Old French tenour Latin tenor ‘course, substance, import of a law’ tenere ‘to hold’

WordNet Dictionary:
I
noun
1. the adult male singing voice above baritone
Syn: tenor voice
2. the pitch range of the highest male voice
3. an adult male with a tenor voice
4. a settled or prevailing or habitual course of a person's life
- nothing disturbed the even tenor of her ways
5. the general meaning or substance of an utterance
- although I disagreed with him I could follow the tenor of his argument
Syn: strain
II
adjective
1. (of a musical instrument) intermediate between alto and baritone or bass
- a tenor sax
2. of or close in range to the highest natural adult male voice
- tenor voice

Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
n.1.A state of holding on in a continuous course; manner of continuity; constant mode; general tendency; course; career.
Along the cool sequestered vale of life
They kept the noiseless tenor of their away.
2.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?
3.Stamp; character; nature.
This success would look like chance, if it were perpetual, and always of the same tenor.
4.(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.
5.(Mus.) The higher of the two kinds of voices usually belonging to adult males; hence, the part in the harmony adapted to this voice; the second of the four parts in the scale of sounds, reckoning from the base, and originally the air, to which the other parts were auxillary.
Old Tenor
different descriptions of paper money, issued at different periods, by the American colonial governments in the last century.

Legal Dictionary:

TENOR, pleading. This word, applied to an instrument in pleading, signifies an exact copy; it differs from purport. (q.v.) 2 Phil. Ev. 99; 2 Russ. on Cr. 365; 1, Chit. Cr. Law, 235; 1 Mass. 203; 1 East, R. 180, and the cases cited in the notes. In chancery practice, by tenor is understood a certified copy of records of other courts removed into chancery by certiorari. Gresl. Ev. 309.


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