SKIP TO CONTENT

tenet

A tenet is a principle or belief honored by a person or, more often, a group of people. "Seek pleasure and avoid pain" is a basic tenet of Hedonism. "God exists" is a tenet of most major religions.

Tenet is pronounced "ten’it." The word evolved from the Latin tenere "to hold." The noun tenet is an opinion or doctrine one holds. It usually refers to a philosophy or a religion, but it doesn't have to — for instance, Eastern medicine has different tenets from Western medicine. One of the central tenets of succeeding in the workplace is that a good offense is the best defense.

Definitions of tenet
  1. noun
    a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct
    synonyms: principle, rule
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 5 types...
    hide 5 types...
    pillar
    a fundamental principle or practice
    yang
    the bright positive masculine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology
    yin
    the dark negative feminine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology
    feng shui
    rules in Chinese philosophy that govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy (qi); the favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into consideration in designing and siting buildings and graves and furniture
    pillar of Islam
    (Islam) one of the five religious obligations accepted by all Muslims
    type of:
    generalisation, generality, generalization
    an idea or conclusion having general application
  2. noun
    a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof
    synonyms: dogma
    see moresee less
    types:
    article of faith, credendum
    (Christianity) any of the sections into which a creed or other statement of doctrine is divided
    type of:
    church doctrine, creed, gospel, religious doctrine
    the written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group
Word Family
EDITOR’S CHOICE

Test prep from the experts

Boost your test score with programs developed by Vocabulary.com’s experts.

  • Proven methods: Learn faster, remember longer with our scientific approach.
  • Personalized plan: We customize your experience to maximize your learning.
  • Strategic studying: Focus on the words that are most crucial for success.

SAT/PSAT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 8 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

TOEFL

$29.95
  • Number of words: 500+
  • Duration: 10 weeks or less
  • Time: 1 hour / week

ACT

$29.95
  • Number of words: 700+
  • Duration: 10 weeks
  • Time: 1 hour / week