What Does Tenet Mean?


People have beliefs or principles that they hold as true, often without proof. When a group holds these beliefs, these beliefs are known as tenets, which are basic, fundamental principles that are the foundations for many aspects of a society.

Etymology/Word History

  • The word "tenet" comes from the Latin word "tenere," which means “he holds."

Tenets of Religion

  • Religious tenets include a belief in a higher being and this belief determines the world view and practices of those who follow that religion.

Tenets of Democracy

  • Basic tenets of democracy include personal liberty, the practice of electing representatives to make laws, and usually, a legal system based on a constitution.

Tenets of Science

  • A key tenet of science is that the natural world is explained by theories proven through hypothesis, observation and logic.

Tenets of Sportsmanship

  • According to former college football player and Rhodes scholar Myron Rolle, the core values or tenets of sportsmanship are discipline, passion, integrity and competition.


  • Photo Credit belchonock/iStock/Getty Images
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