tender (v.) Look up tender at Dictionary.com
"to offer formally," 1540s, from Middle French tendre "to offer, hold forth" (11c.), from Latin tendere "to stretch, extend" (see tenet). The retention of the ending of the French infinitive is unusual (see render (v.) for another example). The noun meaning "formal offer for acceptance" is from 1540s; specific sense of "money that may be legally offered as payment" is from 1740; hence legal tender "currency."
tender (n.) Look up tender at Dictionary.com
"person who tends another," late 15c., probably an agent noun formed from Middle English tenden "attend to" (see tend (v.2)); later extended to locomotive engineers (1825) and barmen (1883). The meaning "small boat used to attend larger ones" first recorded 1670s.
tenderfoot (n.) Look up tenderfoot at Dictionary.com
1866, American English, originally of newcomers to ranching or mining districts, from tender (adj.) + foot (n.). The U.S. equivalent of what in Great Britain was generally called a greenhand. As a level in Boy Scouting, it is recorded from 1908.
Among the Indians, more than half of every sentence is expressed by signs. And miners illustrate their conversation by the various terms used in mining. I have always noticed how clearly these terms conveyed the idea sought. Awkwardness in comprehending this dialect easily reveals that the hearer bears the disgrace of being a "pilgrim," or a "tender-foot," as they style the new emigrant. ["A Year in Montana," "Atlantic Monthly," August 1866]
Tender-footed (adj.) "cautious", originally of horses, is recorded from 1680s; of persons from 1854.
tenderize (v.) Look up tenderize at Dictionary.com
1733, from tender + -ize. Specifically of food, recorded by 1935, originally American English. Related: Tenderized; tenderizing.
tenderizer (n.) Look up tenderizer at Dictionary.com
1942, agent noun from tenderize.
tenderloin (n.) Look up tenderloin at Dictionary.com
1828, "tender part of a loin of pork or beef," from tender (adj.) + loin. The slang meaning "police district noted for vice" appeared first 1887 in New York, on the notion of the neighborhood of the chief theaters, restaurants, etc., being the "juciest cut" for graft and blackmail.
tendinitis (n.) Look up tendinitis at Dictionary.com
1900, from Medieval Latin tendinis, genitive of tendo (see tendon) + -itis "inflammation."
tendon (n.) Look up tendon at Dictionary.com
1540s, from Medieval Latin tendonem (nominative tendo), altered (by influence of Latin tendere "to stretch") from Late Latin tenon, from Greek tenon (genitive tenontos) "tendon, sinew," from PIE *ten-on- "something stretched," from root *ten- "to stretch" (see tenet).
tendonitis (n.) Look up tendonitis at Dictionary.com
see tendinitis.
tendril (n.) Look up tendril at Dictionary.com
"leafless plant-organ attaching to another for support," 1530s, from Middle French tendrillon "bud, shoot, cartilage," perhaps a diminutive of tendron "cartilage," from Old French tendre "soft" (see tender (adj.)), or else from Latin tendere "to stretch, extend" (see tender (v.)).
tenebrism (n.) Look up tenebrism at Dictionary.com
1959, with -ism + tenebroso (1886), in reference to 17c. Italian painters in the style of Caravaggio, from Italian tenebroso "dark," from Latin tenebrosus "dark, gloomy," from tenebrae "darkness" (see temerity).
tenebrous (adj.) Look up tenebrous at Dictionary.com
"full of darkness," late 15c., from Old French tenebros "dark, gloomy" (11c., Modern French ténébreux), from Latin tenebrosus "dark," from tenebrae "darkness" (see temerity). Related: Tenebrosity.
tenement (n.) Look up tenement at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "holding of immovable property" (such as land or buildings,) from Anglo-French (late 13c.), Old French tenement "fief, land, possessions, property" (12c.), from Medieval Latin tenementum "a holding, fief" (11c.), from Latin tenere "to hold" (see tenet). The meaning "dwelling place, residence" is attested from early 15c.; tenement house "house broken up into apartments, usually in a poor section of a city" is first recorded 1858, American English, from tenament in an earlier sense (especially in Scotland) "large house constructed to be let to a number of tenants" (1690s).
tenesmus (n.) Look up tenesmus at Dictionary.com
"a straining" (to void the contents of the bowels), 1520s, medical Latin, from Greek tenesmos "a straining," from teinein "to stretch" (see tenet).
tenet (n.) Look up tenet at Dictionary.com
"principle, opinion, or dogma maintained as true by a person, sect, school, etc.," properly "a thing held (to be true)," early 15c., from Latin tenet "he holds," third person singular present indicative of tenere "to hold, grasp, keep, have possession, maintain," also "reach, gain, acquire, obtain; hold back, repress, restrain;" figuratively "hold in mind, take in, understand."

The Latin word is from PIE root *ten- "to stretch" (cognates: Sanskrit tantram "loom," tanoti "stretches, lasts;" Persian tar "string;" Lithuanian tankus "compact," i.e. "tightened;" Greek teinein "to stretch," tasis "a stretching, tension," tenos "sinew," tetanos "stiff, rigid," tonos "string," hence "sound, pitch;" Latin tendere "to stretch," tenuis "thin, rare, fine;" Old Church Slavonic tento "cord;" Old English þynne "thin"). Connecting notion between "stretch" and "hold" is "cause to maintain." The modern sense is probably because tenet was used in Medieval Latin to introduce a statement of doctrine.
tenfold (adj.) Look up tenfold at Dictionary.com
Old English tienfeald; see ten + -fold. As an adverb in modern use from 1530s.
Tennessee Look up Tennessee at Dictionary.com
state and river, from Cherokee (Iroquoian) village name ta'nasi', of unknown origin. Related: Tennesseean.
tennis (n.) Look up tennis at Dictionary.com
mid-14c., most likely from Anglo-French tenetz "hold! receive! take!," from Old French tenez, imperative of tenir "to hold, receive, take" (see tenet), which was used as a call from the server to his opponent. The original version of the game (a favorite sport of medieval French knights) was played by striking the ball with the palm of the hand, and in Old French was called la paulme, literally "the palm," but to an onlooker the service cry would naturally seem to identify the game. Century Dictionary says all of this is "purely imaginary."

The use of the word for the modern game is from 1874, short for lawn tennis, which originally was called sphairistike (1873), from Greek sphairistike (tekhne) "(skill) in playing at ball," from the root of sphere. It was invented, and named, by Maj. Walter C. Wingfield and first played at a garden party in Wales, inspired by the popularity of badminton.
The name 'sphairistike,' however, was impossible (if only because people would pronounce it as a word of three syllables to rhyme with 'pike') and it was soon rechristened. ["Times" of London, June 10, 1927]
Tennis-ball attested from mid-15c.; tennis-court from 1560s; tennis-elbow from 1883; tennis-shoes from 1887.
Tenochtitlan Look up Tenochtitlan at Dictionary.com
former Aztec city, Nahuatl (Aztecan), literally "place of the nopal rock," from tetl "rock" + nuchtli "nopal," a species of cactus sacred to the sun god.
tenon (n.) Look up tenon at Dictionary.com
projection inserted to make a joint, late 14c., from Middle French tenon "a tenon," from Old French tenir "to hold" (see tenet). As a verb from 1590s.
tenor (n.) Look up tenor at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "general meaning, prevailing course, purpose, drift," from Old French tenor "substance, contents, meaning, sense; tenor part in music" (13c. Modern French teneur), from Latin tenorem (nominative tenor) "a course," originally "continuance, uninterrupted course, a holding on," from tenere "to hold" (see tenet). The musical sense of "high male voice" is attested from late 14c. in English, so-called because the sustained melody (canto fermo) was carried by the tenor's part. Meaning "singer with a tenor voice" is from late 15c. As an adjective in this sense from 1520s.
tenpins (n.) Look up tenpins at Dictionary.com
c. 1600, from ten + plural of pin (n.). From the number of pins to be knocked down.
tense (adj.) Look up tense at Dictionary.com
"stretched tight," 1660s, from Latin tensus, past participle of tendere "to stretch, extend" (see tenet). Figurative sense of "in a state of nervous tension" is first recorded 1821. Related: Tensely; tenseness.
tense (n.) Look up tense at Dictionary.com
"form of a verb showing time of an action or state," early 14c., tens "time," also "tense of a verb" (late 14c.), from Old French tens "time, period of time, era; occasion, opportunity; weather" (11c., Modern French temps), from Latin tempus "a portion of time" (also source of Spanish tiempo, Italian tempo; see temporal).
tense (v.) Look up tense at Dictionary.com
"to make tense," 1670s, from tense (adj.); intransitive sense of "to become tense" (often tense up) is recorded from 1946. Related: Tensed; tensing.
tensile (adj.) Look up tensile at Dictionary.com
1620s, "stretchable," from Modern Latin tensilis "capable of being stretched," from Latin tensus, past participle of tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). Meaning "pertaining to tension" is from 1841.
tension (n.) Look up tension at Dictionary.com
1530s, "a stretched condition," from Middle French tension (16c.) or directly from Latin tensionem (nominative tensio) "a stretching" (in Medieval Latin "a struggle, contest"), noun of state from tensus, past participle of tendere "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "stretch" (see tenet). The sense of "nervous strain" is first recorded 1763. The meaning "stress along lines of electromotive force" (as in high-tension wires) is recorded from 1785.
tensor (n.) Look up tensor at Dictionary.com
muscle that stretches or tightens a part, 1704, Modern Latin agent noun from tens-, past participle stem of Latin tendere "to stretch" (see tenet).
tent (n.) Look up tent at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "portable shelter of skins or coarse cloth stretched over poles," from Old French tente "tent, hanging, tapestry" (12c.), from Medieval Latin tenta "a tent," literally "something stretched out," noun use of fem. singular of Latin tentus "stretched," variant past participle of tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). The notion is of "stretching" hides over a framework. Tent caterpillar first recorded 1854, so called from the tent-like silken webs in which they live gregariously.
tent (v.) Look up tent at Dictionary.com
"to camp in a tent," 1856, from tent (n.). Earlier "to pitch a tent" (1550s). Related: Tented; tenting.
tentacle (n.) Look up tentacle at Dictionary.com
1762, from Modern Latin tentaculum, literally "feeler," from Latin tentare "to feel, try" + -culum, diminutive suffix (see -cule). Related: Tentacular.
tentative (adj.) Look up tentative at Dictionary.com
1580s, from Medieval Latin tentativus "trying, testing," from Latin tentatus, past participle of tentare "to feel, try." Related: Tentatively; tentativeness.
tenter (n.) Look up tenter at Dictionary.com
c. 1300, "wooden framework for stretching cloth," of uncertain origin, probably via Old French (but the evolution of the ending is obscure), and ultimately from Latin tentorium "tent made of stretched skins," from tentus "stretched," variant past participle of tendere "to stretch" (see tenet).
tenterhooks (n.) Look up tenterhooks at Dictionary.com
plural of tenterhook (late 15c.), "one of the hooks that holds cloth on a tenter," from tenter + hook (n.). The figurative phrase on tenterhooks "in painful suspense" is from 1748; earlier to be on tenters (1530s).
tenth (adj.) Look up tenth at Dictionary.com
mid-12c., tenðe; see ten + -th (1). Replacing Old English teoða (West Saxon), teiða (Northumbrian), which is preserved in tithe. Compare Old Saxon tehando, Old Frisian tegotha, Dutch tiende, Old High German zehanto, German zehnte, Gothic taihunda. As a noun from c. 1200.
tenuious (adj.) Look up tenuious at Dictionary.com
late 15c., from Latin tenuis "thin" (see tenuous) + -ous.
tenuous (adj.) Look up tenuous at Dictionary.com
1590s, "thin, unsubstantial," irregularly formed from Latin tenuis "thin, drawn out, meager, slim, slender," figuratively "trifling, insignificant, poor, low in rank," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch" (cognates: Sanskrit tanuh "thin," literally "stretched out;" see tenet) + -ous. The correct form with respect to the Latin is tenuious. The figurative sense of "having slight importance, not substantial" is found from 1817 in English. Related: Tenuously; tenuousness.
tenure (n.) Look up tenure at Dictionary.com
early 15c., "holding of a tenement," from Anglo-French and Old French tenure "a tenure, estate in land" (13c.), from Old French tenir "to hold," from Vulgar Latin *tenire, from Latin tenere "to hold" (see tenet). The sense of "condition or fact of holding a status, position, or occupation" is first attested 1590s. Meaning "guaranteed tenure of office" (usually at a university or school) is recorded from 1957. Related: Tenured (1961).
teocalli (n.) Look up teocalli at Dictionary.com
place of worship of ancient Mexicans, 1570s, from American Spanish, from Nahuatl (Aztecan) teohcalli "temple, church," literally "god-house," from teotl "god" + calli "house."
teonanacatl (n.) Look up teonanacatl at Dictionary.com
native name for a hallucinogenic fungi (Psilocybe mexicana) found in Central America, 1875, from Nahuatl (Aztecan), from teotl "god" + nancatl "mushroom."
tepee (n.) Look up tepee at Dictionary.com
1743, ti pee, from Dakota (Siouan) thipi "dwelling, house."
tephromancy (n.) Look up tephromancy at Dictionary.com
1650s, "divination by means of ashes," from Modern Latin tephromantia, from comb. form of Greek tephra "ashes" + manteia "divination," from mantis "prophet" (see mania).
tepid (adj.) Look up tepid at Dictionary.com
c. 1400, from Latin tepidus "lukewarm," from tepere "be moderately warm," from PIE root *tep- "to be hot" (cognates: Sanskrit tapati "makes warm, heats, burns," tapas "heat, austerity;" Avestan tafnush "fever;" Old Church Slavonic topiti "to warm," teplu "warm;" Old Irish tene "fire;" Welsh tes "heat"). Related: Tepidly; tepidity.
tequila (n.) Look up tequila at Dictionary.com
Mexican brandy, 1849 (from 1841 as vino de Tequila), from American Spanish tequila, from Tequila, name of a district in central Mexico noted for the fine quality of its tequila. Tequila sunrise is attested by 1965.
ter- Look up ter- at Dictionary.com
word-forming element meaning "thrice, three times," from Latin ter "thrice," from *tris-, from root of three. Compare Latin tertius "third."
tera- Look up tera- at Dictionary.com
prefix meaning "trillion," used in forming large units of measure (such as terabyte), officially adopted 1947, from Greek teras "marvel, monster" (see terato-).
terabyte (n.) Look up terabyte at Dictionary.com
by 1982, from tera- + byte.
terato- Look up terato- at Dictionary.com
before vowels terat-, word-forming element meaning "marvel, monster," from comb. form of Greek teras (genitive teratos) "marvel, sign, wonder, monster," from PIE *kewr-es-, from root *kwer- "to make, form" (cognates: Sanskrit krta- "make, do, perform," Lithuanian keras "charm," Old Church Slavonic čaru "charm").
teratogen (n.) Look up teratogen at Dictionary.com
1959, from terato- "marvel, monster" + -gen.
teratogenic (adj.) Look up teratogenic at Dictionary.com
"causing the formation of monsters," 1873, from teratogeny + -ic; probably based on German teratogenic (by 1856).