Definition of tenace in English:



  • (in bridge, whist, and similar card games) a pair of cards in one hand which rank immediately above and below a card held by an opponent, e.g. the ace and queen in a suit of which an opponent holds the king.

    ‘declarer holds a trump tenace over East’
    • ‘Not wishing to lead from one of his tenaces, he opened the ten of spades.’
    • ‘Throwing the lead back to defenders after eliminating safe suits can force them to lead into your tenaces.’
    • ‘These tenaces are revealed to the defenders, providing them with additional defense advantages.’
    • ‘Without these tenaces, you would prefer the lead to come up to your partners tenaces.’
    • ‘I give the declarer a chance to lead trumps into my tenaces.’



/ˈtenās/ /ˈtɛneɪs/ /ˈtenəs/ /ˈtɛnəs/


Mid 17th century from French, from Spanish tenaza, literally ‘pincers’.