Definition of tenon in English:


Pronunciation /ˈtenən/ /ˈtɛnən/

Translate tenon into Spanish


  • A projecting piece of wood made for insertion into a mortise in another piece.

    ‘a mortise and tenon joint’
    • ‘One piece of wood has tenons that fit into matching sockets drilled into another piece of wood.’
    • ‘They employ hand-chiseled mortises and tenons.’
    • ‘The frame is completely made of wooden parts solidly linked by many mortises and tenons held together by a sophisticated system of brackets.’
    • ‘Tenons have room to expand and contract within the mortise, avoiding splitting.’
    • ‘The crew had difficulty in aligning the tenons on the top of the tower with the mortices on the bottom.’
    • ‘A regular tenon provides all the strength the frame will need to stand up to time.’
    • ‘Usually, joiners cut, carved, and painted all the stiles, rails and panels before putting them together with mortise and tenon joints.’
    • ‘These rails are held together by mortise and tenon joints.’
    • ‘Some cabinet doors are held tightly together with long tenons, while others have short tenons that have loosened over time.’
    • ‘Both the English and Dutch used heavy timbers to construct mortise and tenon frames.’
    • ‘This shows a simple French mortise and tenon joint with a pin inserted for strength.’
    • ‘The partitions at each side of the long drawers are made with five tenons that pierce the top of the case.’
    • ‘Each piece of furniture is built as if it were full size, with proper mortise and tenon joints rather than glue.’
    • ‘Rafter pairs are joined directly to each joist by means of mortise and tenon joints.’
    • ‘The side boards of the base end in two long tenons that are pinned into the molded feet.’
    • ‘Instead of being a single piece of wood, this was in three separate joints linked with tenons and sockets.’
    • ‘The table makes use of the Japanese mortice and tenon joint, which is an elaborate and exacting piece of carpentry.’
    • ‘My joiners grumble when they are asked to make a projecting top with the mortice and tenon construction.’
    • ‘We found the remains of five troughs made of wooden planks, connected by mortice and tenon joints.’
    • ‘When I got the paint off, I discovered dovetail and tenon construction from top to bottom.’

transitive verb

[with object]
  • 1Join by means of a tenon.

    ‘the rail was tenoned into oak stiles’
    • ‘The thin drawer blades were merely tenoned into the case walls.’
    • ‘The deep side rails are tenoned into shallow legs.’
    • ‘The joined struts are mortised and tenoned to both the joists and rafters.’
    • ‘The spindles are tenoned completely, then wedged into place.’
    • ‘All members are mortised and tenoned together with long tapered pins that secure the joints.’
    • ‘The drawer rails inside the lower cabinets are tenoned to the case sides and partitions.’
    joint, join, fit together, link, interlock, splice, mortise, tenon
    1. 1.1Cut as a tenon.
      • ‘the part to be tenoned is wider than the part to be mortised’


Late Middle English from French, from tenir ‘to hold’, from Latin tenere.