adjective \ˈten-dər\

: very loving and gentle : showing affection and love for someone or something

of food : easy to chew or bite : not tough

: painful when touched

Full Definition of TENDER

a :  having a soft or yielding texture :  easily broken, cut, or damaged :  delicate, fragile <tender feet>
b :  easily chewed :  succulent
a :  physically weak :  not able to endure hardship
b :  immature, young <children of tender age>
c :  incapable of resisting cold :  not hardy <tender perennials>
:  marked by, responding to, or expressing the softer emotions :  fond, loving <a tender lover>
a :  showing care :  considerate, solicitous <tender regard>
b :  highly susceptible to impressions or emotions :  impressionable <a tender conscience>
a :  appropriate or conducive to a delicate or sensitive constitution or character :  gentle, mild <tender breeding> <tender irony>
b :  delicate or soft in quality or tone <never before heard the piano sound so tender — Elva S. Daniels>
obsolete :  dear, precious
a :  sensitive to touch or palpation <the bruise was still tender>
b :  sensitive to injury or insult :  touchy <tender pride>
c :  demanding careful and sensitive handling :  ticklish <a tender situation>
d of a boat :  easily tipped by an external force
ten·der·ly adverb
ten·der·ness noun

Examples of TENDER

  1. He gave her a tender look.
  2. She was tender and loving with her new child.
  3. Cook the pasta until it is just tender.
  4. Her wrist was swollen and tender.

Origin of TENDER

Middle English, from Anglo-French tendre, from Latin tener; perhaps akin to Latin tenuis thin, slight — more at thin
First Known Use: 13th century



Definition of TENDER


Origin of TENDER

First Known Use: 13th century


ten·deredten·der·ing \-d(ə-)riŋ\

Definition of TENDER

transitive verb
:  to make tender :  soften, weaken
archaic :  to regard or treat with tenderness
intransitive verb
:  to become tender

First Known Use of TENDER

14th century


ten·deredten·der·ing \-d(ə-)riŋ\

Definition of TENDER

transitive verb
:  to make a tender of
:  to present for acceptance :  offer <tendered my resignation>
intransitive verb
:  to make a bid or tender

Origin of TENDER

Middle English tendren, from Anglo-French tendre offer
First Known Use: 15th century


noun, often attributive

Definition of TENDER

:  an unconditional offer of money or service in satisfaction of a debt or obligation made to save a penalty or forfeiture for nonpayment or nonperformance
:  an offer or proposal made for acceptance: as
a :  an offer of a bid for a contract
b :  tender offer
:  something that may be offered in payment; specifically :  money

Origin of TENDER

Middle English tendur grant of a license, from Anglo-French tendre offer, tender, from tendre, verb, to stretch, hold out, offer, direct, from Latin tendere to stretch, direct — more at thin
First Known Use: circa 1543

Other Business Terms

amortize, caveat emptor, clearinghouse, divest, due diligence, emolument, green-collar, marque, overhead, perquisite


noun \ˈten-dər\

Definition of TENDER

:  one that tends: as
a (1) :  a ship employed to attend other ships (as to supply provisions)
(2) :  a boat for communication or transportation between shore and a larger ship (3) :  a warship that provides logistic support
b :  a car attached to a steam locomotive for carrying a supply of fuel and water

First Known Use of TENDER




Definition of TENDER

:  an often breaded strip of usually breast meat <chicken tenders>; also :  the tenderloin of a chicken

Origin of TENDER

probably short for tenderloin
First Known Use: 1983

Other Food Terms

Reuben, calamari, chuck, curry, edamame, foie gras, hummus, leaven, nonpareil, peel


adjective \ˈten-dər\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of TENDER

: sensitive to touch or palpation <tender skin> <a tender palpable kidney>
ten·der·ness \-nəs\ noun


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Previous Word in the Dictionary: tendenz
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