Meaning of tenet


A tenet is a principle or belief honored by a person or, more often, a group of people. “Seek pleasure and avoid pain” is a basic tenet of Hedonism. “God exists” is a tenet of most major religions.

Tenet is pronounced “ten’it.” The word evolved from the Latin tenere “to hold.” The noun tenet is an opinion or doctrine one holds. It usually refers to a philosophy or a religion, but it doesn’t have to — for instance, Eastern medicine has different tenets from Western medicine. One of the central tenets of succeeding in the workplace is that a good offense is the best defense.

Definitions of tenet
  1. noun

    a basic generalization that is accepted as true and that can be used as a basis for reasoning or conduct


    principle, rule

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    a fundamental principle or practice

    the bright positive masculine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology

    the dark negative feminine principle in Chinese dualistic cosmology
    feng shui

    rules in Chinese philosophy that govern spatial arrangement and orientation in relation to patterns of yin and yang and the flow of energy (qi); the favorable or unfavorable effects are taken into consideration in designing and siting buildings and graves and furniture
    pillar of Islam

    (Islam) one of the five religious obligations accepted by all Muslims
    type of:

    generalisation, generality, generalization

    an idea or conclusion having general application

  2. noun

    a religious doctrine that is proclaimed as true without proof



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    article of faith, credendum

    (Christianity) any of the sections into which a creed or other statement of doctrine is divided
    type of:

    church doctrine, creed, gospel, religious doctrine

    the written body of teachings of a religious group that are generally accepted by that group

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