Tenant vs. tenet

tenet is a principle held as being true, especially by an organization or a group of people.

tenant is (1) someone who pays rent to occupy property; (2) a dweller in a place; and, (3) in law, one who holds or possesses lands, tenements, or property by any kind of title.



He said it was unethical and goes against the tenets of Islam. [Arab News (dead link)]

By destroying this very tenet of capitalism – that the losers actually lose so that new ideas, people, companies can become winners – they have now crippled our economy and kept millions out of work. [TPM (dead link)]


A group of Queens tenants left homeless by a fire two weeks ago fear many of their belongings were looted or just tossed out like garbage. [NY Daily News]

Supporters of tenants’ rights are disappointed that an overhaul of tenancy laws did not result in the demise of agency letting fees. [Radio New Zealand]

6 thoughts on “Tenant vs. tenet”

  1. When I saw this, the first thing I thought of was work. They use tenet all the time, but people often spell it the other way, and of course, spell checker still says it’s right even though it isn’t.

  2. Oh, this one really frosts me. I think people who make this mistake are the same sort who natter on about “statue of limitations.”

    • I would venture to guess they are the same ones who use “dominate” as an adjective and pronounce “pundit” as “pundent”.

  3. Today’s tented tenants tarry rent-free in accordance with the tellurian tenets first taken up by Jabal, “the father of those who live in tents and raise livestock” (Genesis 4:20, New International Version).


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