From Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search



tenour (plural tenours)

  1. Archaic spelling of tenor.
    • 1790, Edmund Burke, Reflections on the Revolution in France, 5th edition, page 48:
      Our political ſyſtem is placed in a juſt correſpondence and ſymmetry with the order of the world, and with the mode of exiſtence decreed to a permanent body compoſed of tranſitory parts; wherein, by the diſpoſition of a ſtupendous wiſdom, moulding together the great myſterious incorporation of the human race, the whole, at one time, is never old, or middle-aged, or young, but in a condition of unchangeable conſtancy, moves on through the varied tenour of perpetual decay, fall, renovation, and progreſſion.
    • 1790, Adam Smith, “Of the Beauty which the Appearance of Utility Bestows upon the Charactes and Actions of Men; []”, in The Theory of Moral Sentiments; [] In Two Volumes, 6th edition, volume I, London: [] A[ndrew] Strahan; and T[homas] Cadell []; Edinburgh: W[illiam] Creech, and J. Bell & Co., →OCLC, part IV, page 481:
      It is the conſciouſneſs of this merited approbation and eſteem which is alone capable of ſupporting the agent in this tenour of conduct.
    • 1838 (date written), L[etitia] E[lizabeth] L[andon], chapter XIV, in Lady Anne Granard; or, Keeping up Appearances. [], volume I, London: Henry Colburn, [], published 1842, →OCLC, page 181:
      Mr. Gooch was so far moved from the even tenour, to buy—first a pocket-book, containing a small view of Rotheles Castle, at the top of a neatly-ruled page for memoranda; and, secondly, a number of a work, illustrating the principal gentlemen's seats in England, and containing a large view of the said castle.


Middle English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]


Borrowed from Anglo-Norman tenour, from Latin tenor.


  • IPA(key): /tɛˈnuːr/, /tɛˈniu̯r/, /ˈtɛnur/


tenour (plural tenours)

  1. The (primary) intended message or purpose of something
  2. The tone or character of something; the tenor of something; the usual mode of life.
  3. The relevant and purposeful content of a directive.
  4. An abstract; a summation of a document or directive.
  5. (music) The primary musical section (tending to be the tenor)
  6. (rare) Constancy or permanence of effect or direction.
  7. (music, rare) A pitch as a basis for finding out pitch difference.
  8. (music, rare) Something's vocal or musical characteristics.


  • English: tenor
  • Scots: tenor


Old French[edit]


tenour oblique singularm (oblique plural tenours, nominative singular tenours, nominative plural tenour)

  1. (Anglo-Norman) Alternative form of tenor (possessor)


tenour oblique singularf (oblique plural tenours, nominative singular tenour, nominative plural tenours)

  1. (Anglo-Norman) Alternative form of teneure (tenure)