\ ˈtend How to pronounce tend (audio) \
tended; tending; tends

Definition of tend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to exhibit an inclination or tendency : conduce tends to be optimistic
2 : to move, direct, or develop one's course in a particular direction cannot tell where society is tending
tended; tending; tends

Definition of tend (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to pay attention : apply oneself tend to your own affairs tend to our correspondence
2 : to act as an attendant : serve tended to his wife
3 archaic : listen
4 obsolete : await

transitive verb

1a : to apply oneself to the care of : watch over tended her sick father
b : to have or take charge of as a caretaker or overseer tend the sheep
d : to manage the operations of : mind tend the store tend the fire
2 : to stand by (something, such as a rope) in readiness to prevent mischance (such as fouling)
3 archaic : to attend as a servant

Examples of tend in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb There also tends to be more severe abdominal pain, nausea and vomiting in new cases than would be usual for Kawasaki disease. Mark Hicar, The Conversation, "A mysterious illness is striking children amid the coronavirus pandemic – but is it Kawasaki disease?," 7 May 2020 But rural populations also tend to be in poorer health, and are more likely to have some of the chronic health conditions—such as diabetes, or obesity—linked with more serious cases of coronavirus. Annalisa Merelli, Quartz, "Coronavirus is killing rural hospitals. But they were already terminally ill," 2 May 2020 Our best Italian vegetable dishes tend to showcase fresh and seasonal Mediteranean ingredients that play nicely with hearty proteins. Saveur Editors, Saveur, "Our 20 Best Italian Side Dishes," 1 May 2020 Casting a mail-in ballot also tends to make voting easier for rural and elderly voters, demographics which generally lean Republican. Grace Segers, CBS News, "Progressive group launches campaign to encourage Congress to pass election assistance," 30 Apr. 2020 Older Mexicans who grew up in the area tend to respond differently. Ian James, AZCentral.com, "How a trickle of water is breathing life into the parched Colorado River Delta," 19 Apr. 2020 Cats with behavior problems also tended to live in households without any female adults or more than one female adult; households with owners ages 18 to 35 years old; single pet households; and households with no toys. Kristen Rogers, CNN, "Your cat's 'bad' behavior might mean they miss you, study says," 15 Apr. 2020 Studies show that people with diabetes tend to have higher levels of receptor ACE2. USA Today, "Coronavirus, diabetes, obesity and other underlying conditions: Which patients are most at risk?," 15 Apr. 2020 Employers also tend to make their biggest payments to the trust in the first quarter of the year, Richardson noted, potentially boosting the fund up over $1 billion between now and the end of the year. Amelia Pak-harvey, Indianapolis Star, "Indiana's unemployment funds will likely run out, experts say," 14 Apr. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of tend

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3

History and Etymology for tend

Verb (1)

Middle English tenden "to stretch, spread, direct oneself (to), incline toward," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French tendre "to stretch, hold out, offer, direct (one's course), go, aim (at)," going back to Latin tendere "to extend outward, stretch, spread out, direct (one's course), aim (at a purpose)" (Medieval Latin, "to lead toward, move in a particular direction") — more at tender entry 3

Verb (2)

Middle English tenden, shortened from attenden "to attend" or entenden, intenden "to intend"

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Time Traveler for tend

Time Traveler

The first known use of tend was in the 14th century

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Statistics for tend

Last Updated

16 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tend. Accessed 25 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for tend


\ ˈtend How to pronounce tend (audio) \
tended; tending

Kids Definition of tend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to take care of She tends the garden.
2 : to pay attention You should tend to business.
3 : to manage the operation of Who's tending the store?


tended; tending

Kids Definition of tend (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to be likely She tends to sleep late.
2 : to move or turn in a certain direction The road tends to the right.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tend

Spanish Central: Translation of tend

Nglish: Translation of tend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tend for Arabic Speakers

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