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How to pronounce untenable (audio)


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Dictionary definition of untenable

Unsustainable, indefensible, or unable to be maintained, often due to fundamental flaws or contradictions.
"His position had become untenable and he was forced to resign."

Detailed meaning of untenable

When something is labeled as untenable, it signifies that it cannot withstand scrutiny, criticism, or logical examination because it is riddled with inherent weaknesses or inconsistencies. This term conveys a sense of vulnerability and the notion that the subject is on the verge of collapse or failure. Whether referring to an untenable argument, a business model, or a position in a debate, the implication is that it lacks a solid foundation or justification, making it impossible to sustain or defend in the long run. Identifying something as untenable often suggests the need for reevaluation, adjustment, or abandonment in favor of more viable alternatives.

Example sentences containing untenable

1. The employee's behavior was untenable and he was terminated from the company.
2. The company's financial situation was becoming untenable.
3. The argument he presented was untenable and easily disproved.
4. The living conditions in the slums were untenable and needed to be addressed.
5. The idea of living without electricity was untenable in today's world.
6. The situation in the country was becoming increasingly untenable.

History and etymology of untenable

The adjective 'untenable' has its roots in the Latin word 'tenere,' which means 'to hold' or 'to maintain.' The prefix 'un-' signifies negation or reversal. When combined, 'untenable' literally means 'unable to be held' or 'unable to be maintained.' This etymology reflects the idea that something described as untenable is unsustainable, indefensible, or unable to endure, often due to fundamental flaws or contradictions that make its position or existence untenable. The word emphasizes the inherent instability or unsound nature of a situation, argument, or position, making it a valuable term for assessing the viability of various claims, beliefs, or positions in a critical and analytical context.

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Further usage examples of untenable

1. The proposal was deemed untenable and was rejected by the board.
2. The position he took on the issue was untenable and caused him to lose support.
3. The situation at the border was untenable, and the government needed to act.
4. The living conditions in the refugee camp were untenable, and aid was desperately needed.
5. The company's business model was untenable in the current market conditions.
6. The team's performance was untenable, and the coach decided to make changes.
7. Since the scandal, his position as a goodwill ambassador had become untenable.
8. The company's financial situation became untenable, leading to bankruptcy.
9. His argument was untenable in the face of overwhelming evidence.
10. The building's structural damage rendered it untenable for occupation.
11. The politician's position on the issue was untenable given public opinion.
12. The escalating conflict made the ceasefire agreement untenable.
13. The athlete's injury made her participation in the tournament untenable.
14. The professor found the student's argument to be untenable and illogical.
15. The military strategy became untenable as supplies dwindled.
16. Their relationship became untenable due to constant disagreements.
17. The project's delays and cost overruns made it financially untenable.
18. The legal case against the defendant was deemed untenable by the judge.
19. The manager recognized that the current business model was untenable.
20. The treaty became untenable when one party violated its terms.
21. The tenant found the living conditions in the apartment untenable.
22. The company's unethical practices made its reputation untenable.
23. The political leader's behavior became untenable for the party.
24. The employee's repeated violations of company policy were untenable.
25. The environmental impact of the factory was deemed untenable.
26. The team realized that their current approach was untenable for success.
27. The community deemed the proposed development project untenable.



indefensible, sustainable, defensible, viable


Deficiency and Shortage, Appropriate and Suitable, Trials and Tribulations, Decline and Disintegrate, Division and Separation, Pinnacle and Perfection, Doubt and Skepticism

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