Definition of tenor noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈtenə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtenər//
    People in the music world
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  1. 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, bass1, countertenor See related entries: People in the music world
  2. 2[singular] a musical part written for a tenor voice
  3. 3[singular] the tenor of something (formal) the general character or meaning of something I was encouraged by the general tenor of his remarks.
  4. Word Originnoun senses 1 to 2 late Middle English: via Old French from medieval Latin, based on tenere ‘to hold’; so named because the tenor part was allotted (and therefore “held”) the melody. noun sense 3 Middle English: from Old French tenour, from Latin tenor ‘course, substance, import of a law’, from tenere ‘to hold’.Extra examples 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.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tenor

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