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Cognate with Latin teneō.




  1. I hold; I occupy



PIE root

From Proto-Italic *tenēō, stative from Proto-Indo-European *ten- ‎(to stretch, draw), see also Ancient Greek τείνω ‎(teínō), Persian تنیدن ‎(tanidan, to web), Sanskrit तनोति ‎(tanóti) and Old English þennan.



teneō ‎(present infinitive tenēre, perfect active tenuī, supine tentum); second conjugation

  1. I hold, have; grasp
  2. I possess, occupy, control
  3. I watch, guard, maintain, defend; retain, keep
  4. I reach, attain; gain, acquire, obtain
  5. I hold fast, restrain, detain, check, control; bind, fetter
  6. (reflexive) I keep back, remain, stay, hold position
  7. I know, grasp, understand, conceive
  8. I recollect, retain knowledge of, remember, bear in mind
  9. I insist, uphold
  10. (of laws) I am binding on; bind, hold, obligate
  11. I comprise, contain, include, hold

Usage notes[edit]

The supine form tentum occurs only in compound verbs.


   Conjugation of teneo (second conjugation, no passive perfect forms)
indicative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present teneō tenēs tenet tenēmus tenētis tenent
imperfect tenēbam tenēbās tenēbat tenēbāmus tenēbātis tenēbant
future tenēbō tenēbis tenēbit tenēbimus tenēbitis tenēbunt
perfect tenuī tenuistī tenuit tenuimus tenuistis tenuērunt, tenuēre
pluperfect tenueram tenuerās tenuerat tenuerāmus tenuerātis tenuerant
future perfect tenuerō tenueris tenuerit tenuerimus tenueritis tenuerint
passive present teneor tenēris, tenēre tenētur tenēmur tenēminī tenentur
imperfect tenēbar tenēbāris, tenēbāre tenēbātur tenēbāmur tenēbāminī tenēbantur
future tenēbor tenēberis, tenēbere tenēbitur tenēbimur tenēbiminī tenēbuntur
subjunctive singular plural
first second third first second third
active present teneam teneās teneat teneāmus teneātis teneant
imperfect tenērem tenērēs tenēret tenērēmus tenērētis tenērent
perfect tenuerim tenuerīs tenuerit tenuerīmus tenuerītis tenuerint
pluperfect tenuissem tenuissēs tenuisset tenuissēmus tenuissētis tenuissent
passive present tenear teneāris, teneāre teneātur teneāmur teneāminī teneantur
imperfect tenērer tenērēris, tenērēre tenērētur tenērēmur tenērēminī tenērentur
imperative singular plural
first second third first second third
active present tenē tenēte
future tenētō tenētō tenētōte tenentō
passive present tenēre tenēminī
future tenētor tenētor tenentor
non-finite forms active passive
present perfect future present perfect future
infinitives tenēre tenuisse tenērī
participles tenēns tenendus
verbal nouns gerund supine
nominative genitive dative/ablative accusative accusative ablative
tenēre tenendī tenendō tenendum


Derived terms[edit]



  • teneo” in Charlton T. Lewis & Charles Short, A Latin Dictionary, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1879.