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Our position became less and less tenable.
  defensible — especially of an opinion or a position
 Mark word for later review on this computer
untenable tenable tenability untenability
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  • Our position became less and less tenable.
  • How can a slave also be a brother? Christians began to see the situation as untenable.
    Dinesh D’Souza  --  What’s So Great About Christianity
  • this is not a naturally tenable position for a whale,
    Douglas Adams  --  The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • I ask you now, is such a theory tenable?
    Arthur Conan Doyle  --  The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

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  • But in the moonlight she could imagine people scrambling over flaming cars to escape the crumbling city, panicking in their flight from this untenable pile of metal and stone.
    Scott Westerfeld  --  Uglies
  • I cannot conceal from you, sir, that the camp will not be much longer tenable;
    James Fenimore Cooper  --  The Last of the Mohicans
  • The situation is entirely untenable, and I know it.
    Sara Gruen  --  Water for Elephants
  • Your position is untenable.
    Eoin Colfer  --  Artemis Fowl
  • For any thinking person, it’s untenable.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • SAC’s bases in Africa and Spain would be untenable and melt away.
    Pat Frank  --  Alas, Babylon

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  • "I really wonder, sir," rejoined the old pupil in an argumentative manner, "to find you taking a position so untenable."
    Charles Dickens  --  Hard Times
  • I love to see that Nature is so rife with life that myriads can be afforded to be sacrificed and suffered to prey on one another; ... tadpoles which herons gobble up ... we must see how little account is to be made of it. The impression made on a wise man is that of universal innocence. ... Compassion is a very untenable ground.
    Henry David Thoreau  --  Walden
  • The situation was becoming untenable, anyway.
    Alexs Pate  --  Amistad
  • There are always untenable events, freak happenings like someone recognizing you, or at worst, the trouble results from a foolish and negligent spy, like my time with Luzan.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  Native Speaker
  • The more I thought about it, the more untenable my position seemed to be.
    Marcus Luttrell  --  Lone Survivor
  • I pray you all, If you have hitherto conceal’d this sight, Let it be tenable in your silence still;
    William Shakespeare  --  Hamlet, Prince of Denmark
  • ), the thought of any existence without them, no matter how nice heaven was, was untenable.
    Harper Lee  --  Go Set a Watchman
  • It would be instantly untenable.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
  • But later, as I drove on an errand before going to Sunny’s apartment in Ebbington to pick up Thomas, I began to find the information about Mrs. Hickey so profoundly untenable that for a few minutes I had to park along the side of the road with the engine shut off and the windows rolled up.
    Chang-rae Lee  --  A Gesture Life
  • My son, although we never said as much, was in the most untenable of situations.
    Jojo Moyes  --  Me Before You
  • I don’t want to put you in an untenable conflict of interest or of the soul."
    David Baldacci  --  Zero Day
  • The thought of anyone taking a strap to this towering mass of muscle and sinew was completely untenable.
    Diana Gabaldon  --  Outlander
  • And when Asian wages rose to untenable levels — $5 an hour, say — there was Africa.
    Dave Eggers  --  A Hologram for the King
  • Xandra and I stood looking at each other for a moment, and then she looked away, as if into some bleak and untenable vision of the future.
    Donna Tartt  --  The Goldfinch
  • Collette’s prickly hostility made for an untenable atmosphere at the apartment now.
    Khaled Hosseini  --  And The Mountains Echoed
  • If this were continued, the barricade was no longer tenable.
    Victor Hugo  --  Les Miserables
  • We fought back and, when our position became untenable, we crossed the Spine and followed the coast to Narda.
    Christopher Paolini  --  Eldest
  • This left me no course but to regret that I had been "betrayed into a warmth which," and on the whole to repudiate, as untenable, the idea that I was to be found anywhere.
    Charles Dickens  --  Great Expectations
  • You can appreciate that under these conditions, our situation had become untenable.
    Jules Verne  --  Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea
  • The place was, in fact, becoming less and less tenable.
    Victor Hugo  --  The Hunchback of Notre Dame
  • Both showed clearly how unbearable and untenable my situation was.
    Hermann Hesse  --  Steppenwolf
  • There is no institution for whose history I have a deeper admiration; but I cannot honestly be ordained her minister, as my brothers are, while she refuses to liberate her mind from an untenable redemptive theolatry.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Tess of the d’Urbervilles
  • But when she was in conversation with Mrs. Plymdale that comforting explanation seemed no longer tenable.
    George Eliot  --  Middlemarch
  • I could not imagine a more untenable situation.
    Pat Conroy  --  The Lords of Discipline
  • Nevertheless, that a male dissembler who by deluging her with untenable fictions charms the female wisely, may acquire powers reaching to the extremity of perdition, is a truth taught to many by unsought and wringing occurrences.
    Thomas Hardy  --  Far from the Madding Crowd
  • In many communities in Natal and on the Reef around Johannesburg, a poisonous mixture of crime, political rivalries, police brutality, and shadowy death squads made life brutish and untenable.
    Nelson Mandela  --  Long Walk to Freedom
  • Of course, in the beginning, this cannot be effected except by means of despotic inroads on the rights of property, and on the conditions of bourgeois production; by means of measures, therefore, which appear economically insufficient and untenable, but which, in the course of the movement, outstrip themselves, necessitate further inroads upon the old social order, and are unavoidable as a means of entirely revolutionising the mode of production.
    Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels  --  The Communist Manifesto
  • That became less tenable when she was hosting ambassadors, so she began going out without permission.
    Nicholas D. Kristof  --  Half the Sky
  • It was agreed by the council that if the British were to bring up their fleet and open fire, the city was untenable.
    David G. McCullough  --  1776
  • With no support or consideration from either Vergennes or Franklin, Adams’s position in Paris had become untenable.
    David McCullough  --  John Adams
  • The prairie became a gruesome, ghastly shambles; and the camps were almost untenable because of flies and bugs, ticks and mosquitoes.
    Zane Grey  --  The Thundering Herd
  • And the fact that she had made this foolish, stupid, untenable decision only fueled that love because it was so-so giving, so outrageously unselfish.
    Robert Ludlum  --  The Bourne Ultimatum
  • You have been led from the extreme of independence to the extreme of subjection without meeting with a single tenable position for shelter or repose.
    Alexis de Toqueville  --  Democracy In America, Volume 1
  • It caught him barely off guard but he failed to fall back, parrying strongly instead and suddenly we were in an untenable position, corps-a-corps, forte-a-forte, almost tete-a-tete.
    Robert A. Heinlein  --  Glory Road
  • But as much as she wanted to be someone else that night, someone free of responsibilities and untenable promises, as much as she wanted Dawson, she knew she was about to cross a line from which there would be no return.
    Nicholas Sparks  --  The Best of Me
  • Of the different grounds which have been taken in opposition to the plan of the convention, there is none that was so little to have been expected, or is so untenable in itself, as the one from which this particular provision has been attacked.
    Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, & John Jay  --  The Federalist Papers
  • For centuries and centuries the Hapsburgs had ruled and protected quiet unvisited valleys, plains thundering with horsemen, and chains of godly and indomitable mountains-all with a fullness and peace that warred with the il-logic of their vast untenable domain.
    Mark Helprin  --  A Soldier of the Great War
  • I’ve already explained to you that the moment my hopes of being able to return to the world of work in the foreseeable future should prove untenable, I was determined to fold my tents here and set myself up for the duration somewhere else in the valley.
    Thomas Mann  --  The Magic Mountain
  • Each asks of him the same untenable thing: to distill himself into neat categories like GPA, SAT score, extracurricular activities, and favorite subjects.
    Ron Suskind  --  A Hope in the Unseen
  • She was now closer to the island than the shore, but if the water grew choppy, the danger, alone and without a life preserver, sitting atop a kayak, would be untenable.
    Dave Eggers  --  The Circle
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Associated words [difficulty]:   tenable [5]
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Most commonly used in these subjects:   Philosophy, Logic & Reasoning, Public Policy & Politics
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