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  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj tenuous lacking substance or significance; a fragile claim to fame" "slight evidence","a tenuous argument","a thin plot"
    • adj tenuous very thin in gauge or diameter "a tenuous thread"
    • adj tenuous having thin consistency "a tenuous fluid"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • Tenuous Rare; subtile; not dense; -- said of fluids.
    • Tenuous Thin; slender; small; minute.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • tenuous Thin; small; minute.
    • tenuous Rare; rarefied; fine; subtile.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • adj Tenuous thin, slender
    • ***


  • A. W. Tozer
    “The vague and tenuous hope that God is too kind to punish the ungodly has become a deadly opiate for the consciences of millions.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
L. tenuis, thin. See Thin, and cf. Tenuis
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. tenuitastenuis, thin, slender; cf. tendĕre, to stretch.


In literature:

You also know that every folk-legend has some basis, however tenuous, in fact.
"Skylark Three" by Edward Elmer Smith
The mind of man is ever the tenuous instrument upon which are playing the invisible forces of inspiration.
"Spirit and Music" by H. Ernest Hunt
They were the source of those tenuous flames that seemed to caress Norden.
"The Whispering Spheres" by Russell Robert Winterbotham
Captain Kilmeny and his betrothed could be seen as shadows growing every minute more tenuous.
"The Highgrader" by William MacLeod Raine
Thus it has become more and more evident to me that the ideal of freedom has grown tenuous in the atmosphere of the West.
"Creative Unity" by Rabindranath Tagore
The whole elaborate structure of money and credit seemed to disappear overnight like some tenuous dream.
"Greener Than You Think" by Ward Moore
The sky was blue, naked except for a tracing of tenuous clouds.
"Attrition" by Jim Wannamaker
The fog did not clear; it became more tenuous and showed an area of the sea.
"Blow The Man Down" by Holman Day
The jangled impressions were like split threads of consciousness, misery-wracked and tenuous.
"The Planet Strappers" by Raymond Zinke Gallun
As he bit greedily into the sandwich, his teeth met on something thin and tenuous, and he pulled the two bits of bread apart.
"Mud and Khaki" by Vernon Bartlett
The thread attaching it to the rest of the universe is doubtless very tenuous.
"Creative Evolution" by Henri Bergson
Her body felt remarkably light and facile, as if she moved in a tenuous, half-real atmosphere.
"No Clue" by James Hay
The tie that bound me to Aileen was indefinable, tenuous, not to be phrased; yet none the less it existed.
"A Daughter of Raasay" by William MacLeod Raine
He was clean-shaven, too, and in the English habit he appeared thin and tenuous.
"The Fifth Queen Crowned" by Ford Madox Ford
In its place was a tenuous refraction that told where it had been.
"Empire" by Clifford Donald Simak
Beneath them spread the valley with the band of the river winding tenuously through the bottoms of the Harper farm.
"The Roof Tree" by Charles Neville Buck
Then it began to grow tenuous.
"Equation of Doom" by Gerald Vance
A tiny fire beside him sent a tenuous smoke column into the glaring sky.
"When the West Was Young" by Frederick R. Bechdolt
It joined them however tenuously.
"The Paliser case" by Edgar Saltus
The ether of the physical world is almost inconceivably tenuous matter.
"Elementary Theosophy" by L. W. Rogers

In poetry:

Let me be a lyric
Tenuous as air,
Or an a la Viereck
Passion song to hair;
"The Poem Speaks" by Franklin Pierce Adams
Tenuous and Precarious
Were my guardians,
Precarious and Tenuous,
Two Romans.
"Tenuous and Precarious" by Stevie Smith
First, tenuous and thin,
Then warmer, closer, deep,
You pierce without, within,
You enter in my sleep.
"Strange Captivity" by Marya Zaturenska
Like a cactus flames the sun;
And the mighty weaver, Even,
Tenuous colored, there in heaven,
His rich weft's begun....
"One Day And Another: A Lyrical Eclogue – Part II" by Madison Julius Cawein
Along the east a shimmer,
A tenuous breath of flame,
From which, as from a bath of light,
Nymph-like, the girl-moon came.
"Under The Rose" by Madison Julius Cawein
How shall we transmit in tendril-like images,
The tenuous tremor in the tissues of ether,
Before the round of colour buds like the dome of a shrine,
The preconscious moment when love has fluttered in the bosom,
Before it begins to ache?
"Lines In Memory Of Edmund Morris" by Duncan Campbell Scott

In news:

Another example of the gift of life's tenuous grip.
Pakistan's Swat Valley success is tenuous .
Snell's status is tenuous .
Pakistan's tenuous gains on Taliban.
Tenuous Zimbabwe Government Deal Approved as Cholera Crisis Worsens.
Wolverines have a tenuous lead in league.
A Tenuous Grip on Data.
Security A Tenuous Grip on Data.
Networking / A Tenuous Grip on Data.
Presidential Visit Highlights Tenuous Pakistan Relationship.
Tenuous peace spreads in West Africa.
The tenuous claim of Israeli 'pinkwashing.
Students, nursing home evacuees tenuously share campus after Sandy.
A reporter who covered the battle of Tripoli returns for Libya's first election in decades to find a city that has achieved a tenuous peace.
Over the weekend, Sharron Angle, Nevada's conservative and divisive candidate for US Senate, illustrated once more her tenuous grip on reality and the truth.

In science:

Inside this range (−1 ∼< log Ξ ∼< 1; Krolik, McKee, & Tarter 1981), both a dense, cool phase and a hot, tenuous phase may coexist (i.e., there are two values of ξ for a given Ξ in this range).
X-ray Spectroscopy of Accretion Disks and Stellar Winds in X-Ray Binaries
On the other hand, we have also discovered forbidden [Ca ii] emission lines in the spectrum, which reveals a very extended tenuous gas envelope surrounding ρ Cas.
Two Decades of Hypergiant Research
In presence of moderate density inhomogeneities, such as inferred from high resolution images of planetary nebulae, photoelectric heating would boost the temperature of the tenuous component, which would then better confine the clumps.
The temperature structure of dusty planetary nebulae
It may be that especially in our local neighbourhood (< 30 parsec) there are at least some directions where the interstellar plasma is tenuous and smooth enough to allow for higher angular resolution than the 10 arcmin what is provided by a 100 km baseline at 1 MHz.
Motivation and possibilities of affordable low-frequency radio interferometry in space
Acting as a tenuous electron plasma, the ISM causes the wavenumber of a propagating wave to become frequency-dependent.
Testing General Relativity with Pulsar Timing
This is due to the fact that the wind fluid is tenuous and hot and therefore very hard to detect in the X-rays.
Galactic Winds: Near and Far
Now suppose the central slab consists of a tenuous medium and the surrounding medium is vacuum, so that the dielectric constant in the slab differs only slightly from unity, ǫ − 1 ≪ 1.
The Casimir effect: Recent controversies and progress
The target material, whether a gas or photons, is likely to be sufficiently tenuous so that the primary beam and the photon beam are only partially attenuated; see Fig. 5.
Lepton Photon Symposium 2005: Summary and Outlook
The physical origin of the jet is currently unclear and could even be considered as an extreme case of a highly collimated wide-angle wind without a tenuous wide-angle component.
Molecular Outflows in Low- and High-Mass Star Forming Regions
We refer to the tenuous disk that forms and regenerates through this process as a planetary debris disk.
First Fruits of the Spitzer Space Telescope: Galactic and Solar System Studies
To estimate the magnitude |δx(t)|, at large distances from the source we may approximate the wave function as a plane wave eik·x incident on a tenuous medium modelled by fixed scattering centres with positions xs .
Astrophysical and Cosmological Tests of Quantum Theory
Although the gas is tenuous, a large pressure front builds up in front of the galaxy because of its rapid motion.
How `heredity' and `environment' shape galaxy properties
Disk mass measurements require detecting the dust emission at optically thin wavelengths, a ma jor observational challenge for the tenuous disks around cool stars and brown dwarfs. A second obstacle is the set of untested assumptions necessary to convert the dust emission to total disk mass.
Disks around Brown Dwarfs and Cool Stars
The massive O stars in these associations often evolve into the Wolf-Rayet phase where strong stellar winds produce a hot tenuous cavity in the interstellar medium.
High-(Energy)-Lights -- The Very High Energy Gamma-Ray Sky
When the post-AGB star heats up, it blows a fast but tenuous wind, which is constrained at the equator, resulting in an elliptical or bipolar PN.
The Origin and Shaping of Planetary Nebulae: Putting the Binary Hypothesis to the Test