verb (1)
\ 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


verb (2)
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 Very little is said about this, mainly because in general, managers tend to read very little. Enrique Dans, Forbes, "Why Your Organization Needs Radar," 9 May 2021 Demand for semiconductors experiences natural peaks and troughs since manufacturers tend to launch new deliverables, such as the latest smartphone model or the newest car marque, seasonally. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, "This is how the global chip shortage will end," 9 May 2021 The quarterback, head coach, whoever, GMs tend to be the focal point, so Carson took his share of being the focal point of the blame, and that’s part of the process of being a quarterback in this league. Mark Inabinett | Minabinett@al.com, al, "Philadelphia Eagles ready to see what Jalen Hurts can do," 9 May 2021 Not only do paying Everest climbers number fewer than 400 per year, but expedition leaders — who charge clients $30,000 to $160,000 each — tend to return year after year to the more elegant and established businesses. Ben Weissenbach, Los Angeles Times, "In the shadow of Mt. Everest, a business boom goes bust, spoiled by COVID-19," 9 May 2021 These prices largely reflect the output of the heavy industries that are centered in northern China, and tend to rise when growth is stronger. Chong Koh Ping, WSJ, "Pandemic Tarnishes China’s North, Strengthens Southern Swing for Jobs," 7 May 2021 Trees tend to bloom more the year after a cicada emergence, says cicada expert Gene Kritsky. Seth Borenstein, Star Tribune, "EXPLAINER: What are cicadas and why do they bug some people?," 7 May 2021 Younger people crave adventure and tend to be less risk averse, Gerzema said. Dawn Gilbertson, USA TODAY, "'Hot spots still a little too hot': More than half of Americans won't consider international travel as countries reopen," 6 May 2021 Lenders say their rates tend to be lower than some credit cards and payday lenders, other avenues of credit for low-income borrowers. Jeremy Kohler, ProPublica, "Clean-Energy Loans Trapped Black Homeowners in Debt. The Legislature Just Started Trying to Fix the Problem.," 6 May 2021

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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tend. Accessed 18 May. 2021.

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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.

More from Merriam-Webster on tend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tend

Nglish: Translation of tend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tend for Arabic Speakers

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