noun \ˈten-dən(t)-sē\

: a quality that makes something likely to happen or that makes someone likely to think or behave in a particular way

: a way of behaving, proceeding, etc., that is developing and becoming more common

plural ten·den·cies

Full Definition of TENDENCY

a :  direction or approach toward a place, object, effect, or limit
b :  a proneness to a particular kind of thought or action
a :  the purposeful trend of something written or said :  aim
b :  deliberate but indirect advocacy

Examples of TENDENCY

  1. The economy has shown a general tendency toward inflation.
  2. <a tendency to drop things>

Origin of TENDENCY

Medieval Latin tendentia, from Latin tendent-, tendens, present participle of tendere
First Known Use: 1628

Synonym Discussion of TENDENCY

tendency, trend, drift, tenor, current mean movement in a particular direction. tendency implies an inclination sometimes amounting to an impelling force <a general tendency toward inflation>. trend applies to the general direction maintained by a winding or irregular course <the long-term trend of the stock market is upward>. drift may apply to a tendency determined by external forces <the drift of the population away from large cities> or it may apply to an underlying or obscure trend of meaning or discourse <got the drift of her argument>. tenor stresses a clearly perceptible direction and a continuous, undeviating course <the tenor of the times>. current implies a clearly defined but not necessarily unalterable course <an encounter that changed the current of my life>.


Next Word in the Dictionary: tendent
Previous Word in the Dictionary: tendencious
All Words Near: tendency

Seen & Heard

What made you want to look up tendency? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More