Definition for TEN'OR

TEN'OR, n. [L. tenor, from teneo, to hold; that is, a holding on in a continued course; Fr. teneur; It. tenore; Sp. tenor.]

  1. Continued run or currency; whole course or strain. We understand a speaker's intention or views from the tenor of his conversation; that is, from the general course of his ideas, or general purport of his speech. Does not the whole tenor of the divine law positively require humility and meekness to all men? Sprat.
  2. Stamp; character. The conversation was of the same tenor as that of the preceding day. This success would look like chance, if it were not perpetual and always of the same tenor. Dryden.
  3. Sense contained; purport; substance; general course or drift; as, close attention to the tenor of the discourse. Warrants are to be executed according to their form and tenor. Locke. Bid me tear the bond, / When it is paid according to the tenor. Shak.
  4. [Fr. tenor.] In music, the natural pitch of a man's voice in singing; hence, the part of a tune adapted to a man's voice, the second of the four parts, reckoning from the base; and originally the air, to which the other parts were auxiliary.
  5. The persons who sing the tenor, or the instrument that plays it.

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