Ten"e*ment (?), n. [OF. tenement a holding, a fief, F. tenement, LL. tenementum, fr. L. tenere to hold. See Tenant.]
That which is held of another by service; property which one holds of a lord or proprietor in consideration of some military or pecuniary service; fief; fee.
Any species of permanent property that may be held, so as to create a tenancy, as lands, houses, rents, commons, an office, an advowson, a franchise, a right of common, a peerage, and the like; -- called also free or frank tenements.
The thing held is a tenement, the possessor of it a "tenant," and the manner of possession is called "tenure."
A dwelling house; a building for a habitation; also, an apartment, or suite of rooms, in a building, used by one family; often, a house erected to be rented.
Fig.: Dwelling; abode; habitation.
Who has informed us that a rational soul can inhabit no tenement, unless it has just such a sort of frontispiece?
Tenement house, commonly, a dwelling house erected for the purpose of being rented, and divided into separate apartments or tenements for families. The term is often applied to apartment houses occupied by poor families.
Syn. -- House; dwelling; habitation. -- Tenement, House. There may be many houses under one roof, but they are completely separated from each other by party walls. A tenement may be detached by itself, or it may be part of a house divided off for the use of a family.
© Webster 1913.