Meaning of untenable


If something is untenable, you can’t defend it or justify it. If your disagreement with your teacher puts you in an untenable position, you better just admit you made a mistake and get on with it.

When untenable entered English in the 17th century it meant “unable to be held against attack.” That sense still holds true: you can use the adjective untenable to describe any situation, position, or theory that simply can’t be defended. Untenable is a great word to use when you want to criticize something, whether it’s a flawed system or a referee’s bad call.

Definitions of untenable
  1. adjective

    (of theories etc) incapable of being defended or justified




    not reasonable; not showing good judgment

Word Family

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