1. A building for human habitation, especially one that is rented to tenants.
2. A rundown, low-rental apartment building whose facilities and maintenance barely meet minimum standards.
3. Chiefly British An apartment or room leased to a tenant.
4. Law A property of a permanent nature that is possessed or owned, such as land or a building, along with the rights associated with such possession or ownership.
[Middle English, house, from Old French, from Medieval Latin tenēmentum, from Latin tenēre, to hold; see ten- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
ten′e·mental (-mĕntl) adj.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.