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  • If any one could point out an intermediate and yet a tenable position between the complete independence and the entire subjection of the public expression of opinion, I should perhaps be inclined to adopt it; but the difficulty is to discover this position.†   (source)
  • The more I thought about it, the more untenable my position seemed to be.   (source)
    untenable = not defensible
  • The situation is entirely untenable, and I know it.   (source)
  • For any thinking person, it's untenable.   (source)
  • The situation was becoming untenable, anyway.   (source)
  • SAC's bases in Africa and Spain would be untenable and melt away.   (source)
  • Your position is untenable.   (source)
  • 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.   (source)
  • 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.   (source)
    untenable = not defendable
  • "I really wonder, sir," rejoined the old pupil in an argumentative manner, "to find you taking a position so untenable."   (source)
    untenable = not defensible
  • 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.   (source)
  • I pray you all, If you have hitherto conceal'd this sight, Let it be tenable in your silence still;   (source)
    tenable = defensible
  • My son, although we never said as much, was in the most untenable of situations.†   (source)
  • Collette's prickly hostility made for an untenable atmosphere at the apartment now.†   (source)
  • If we have sixteen hours' more work to do, then that puts us in an untenable position.†   (source)
  • I could not imagine a more untenable situation.†   (source)
  • But, my friends, if that ancient egg ever breaks, this barn will be untenable.†   (source)
  • I don't want to put you in an untenable conflict of interest or of the soul.†   (source)
  • And when Asian wages rose to untenable levels — $5 an hour, say — there was Africa.†   (source)
  • , the thought of any existence without them, no matter how nice heaven was, was untenable.†   (source)
  • But you must try to understand that my situation was untenable.†   (source)
  • It would be instantly untenable.†   (source)
  • The thought of anyone taking a strap to this towering mass of muscle and sinew was completely untenable.†   (source)
  • Probably it is to their credit that these butterflies of the night regard their roles as a kind of public trust, but in any case, the geisha who violates that trust puts herself in an untenable position.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • It was agreed by the council that if the British were to bring up their fleet and open fire, the city was untenable.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • We fought back and, when our position became untenable, we crossed the Spine and followed the coast to Narda.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • It was untenable.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • With no support or consideration from either Vergennes or Franklin, Adams's position in Paris had become untenable.†   (source)
  • Each asks of him the same untenable thing: to distill himself into neat categories like GPA, SAT score, extracurricular activities, and favorite subjects.†   (source)
  • There were moments in the Far East when he had craved his own death, if only to expunge the guilt he felt at putting her in such dangerous-untenable?†   (source)
  • Composed as she was, a trace of defensiveness colored her response, and Eragon suspected she knew her position was untenable.†   (source)
  • Colonel Douglas, a New Haven shipmaster and merchant who had fought gallantly at Brooklyn, thought New York untenable.†   (source)
  • You won't even speak my name, paisan?" he asked disbelievingly, as though the reality, the untenability, of his position was reaching his consciousness at last.†   (source)
    standard prefix: The prefix "un-" in untenability means not and reverses the meaning of tenability. This is the same pattern you see in words like unhappy, unknown, and unlucky.
  • 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.†   (source)
  • Both showed clearly how unbearable and untenable my situation was.†   (source)
  • You can appreciate that under these conditions, our situation had become untenable.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • The prairie became a gruesome, ghastly shambles; and the camps were almost untenable because of flies and bugs, ticks and mosquitoes.†   (source)
  • He moved on in silence, as if his energies were benumbed by the hitherto undreamt-of possibility that his position was untenable.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
  • 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.†   (source)
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