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  • Adj.

tenacious

tuh-NAY-shuhs

Context
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The dog was tenacious in his persistent efforts to get all the meat off the bone. He tenaciously gnawed at it for hours, determined to get every scrap of meat he could. When his owner tried to pry the bone out of his mouth, he held on with fierce tenacity and dogged stubbornness. He only gave up his tenacious, unyielding hold on the bone when his owner offered him a ham sandwich in place of it.

Quiz: What does tenacious mean?

  • Greedy and selfish in the worst sort of way.
  • Determined to continue doing what one has set out to do.
  • Fierce and angry too much of the time.

Memory Hook
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Tenacious Tenacious D The band "Tenacious D" was named as being tenacious for its continued insistence on being loud and vulgar in each and every show.

Examples
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  • 'Similar to latex balloons, peanut butter can conform to the airways and form a tenacious seal that is difficult to dislodge or extract.' —WebMD
  • 'Not only was he tenacious on the offensive and defensive ends of the court, but when he did live commentary during games, he was always funny without losing focus. —The Onion
  • An untiringly tenacious woman who once remarked that 'most men in politics are weak,' she is known to keep her promises — good or bad. —TIME
  • This 'Southern Operation' would seal off China from outside help, thus underwriting victory in Japan’s frustrating four-year war against Chiang Kai-shek’s feckless but tenacious Chinese army. —The Atlantic

Word Ingredients
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ten have, hold
-acious inclined to, abounding in

When one is tenacious, one is “inclined to hold” onto something until it is completed.

Word Theater
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Tug of War This is one tenacious dog!
Tenacious

Word Constellation
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Tenacious

Word Variants
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tenacity n persistence; determination