Tenant or Tenet?

The words tenant and tenet sound similar, but their meanings are completely different.


The noun tenant describes a person who occupies land or property that is rented from a landlord. Though not as common, tenant can also be used as a verb. For example:
  • My tenant never washes his hair.
  • (Here, tenant is a noun.)
  • We are only tenants, and shortly the great Landlord will give us notice that our lease has expired. (Joseph Jefferson)
  • She tenants the land from a farmer.
  • (Here, tenant is a verb.)


The noun tenet denotes an adopted belief, theme, or principle.

  • Trust is the central tenet of our agreement.
  • The phrase "Love your enemies" is not always an easy tenet to live by. (Lea Salonga)
  • My views have evolved to support marriage equality. They do not require a religion to alter any of its tenets; it simply forbids government from discrimination regarding who can marry whom. (Tim Johnson)

A Quick Test