Tenant or Tenet?

by Craig Shrives

What Is the Difference between "Tenant" and "Tenet"?

"Tenant" and "tenet" are easy to confuse because they sound so similar.
  • "Tenant" is a person who rents land or property. For example:
    • The tenant in the apartment above is too noisy.
  • "Tenet" is a principle on which a belief or theory is based. For example:
    • Non-violence is the central tenet of their faith.
tenant or tenet

More about "Tenant" or "Tenet"

"Tenant" and "tenet" are typically used in documents intended for a business audience, and they will expect you to use the right word.


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.

Example sentences with "tenant":
  • 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. (Actor Joseph Jefferson)
  • She tenants the land from a farmer.
  • (Here, "tenant" is a verb.)


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

Example sentences with "tenet":
  • Trust is the central tenet of our agreement.
  • The phrase "Love your enemies" is not always an easy tenet to live by. (Singer 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. (Actor Tim Johnson)

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See Also

adverse or averse? affect or effect? appraise or apprise? avenge or revenge? bare or bear? complement or compliment? dependant or dependent? discreet or discrete? disinterested or uninterested? e.g. or i.e.? envy or jealousy? imply or infer? its or it's? material or materiel? poisonous or venomous? practice or practise? principal or principle? who's or whose? What are adjectives? List of easily confused words

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