Definition of tendency
1a : a proneness to a particular kind of thought or actionb : direction or approach toward a place, object, effect, or limit
2a : the purposeful trend of something written or said : aimb : deliberate but indirect advocacy
Examples of tendency in a Sentence
The economy has shown a general tendency toward inflation.
a tendency to drop things
Recent Examples of tendency from the Web
At the root of the problem is the tendency to take the optimism generated by a grand idea and overlay that on the execution without applying the critical rigor required to foresee the inevitable hurdles that are likely to complicate the process.
Green’s tendency to provoke extends beyond the sidelines.
Pence, who is extremely disciplined in his public remarks, might want to share another of his favorite Bible verses with a president who has a tendency to contradict and undercut his own staff with free-wheeling interviews and early morning tweets.
There has been a tendency to silver bullet the problem, which is to look for the big solution: the Archimedean lever.
Poile said Subban probably has given up a little bit of his offensive tendencies to play the role Nashville needs him to right now.
Mahomes’ gunslinger tendencies have also elicited both veiled and direct comparisons to Pro Football Hall of Famer Brett Favre.
Humans have a tremendous capacity for love, but only slightly more powerful is our tendency toward violence, hate, and abuse.
The festival served as a reminder, too, that several general tendencies in City Ballet choreography have endured since the company’s inception.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tendency'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of tendency
Medieval Latin tendentia, from Latin tendent-, tendens, present participle of tendere
First Known Use: 1628
Synonym Discussion of tendency
TENDENCY Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of tendency for English Language Learners
: 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
TENDENCY Defined for Kids
Definition of tendency for Students
1 : a leaning toward a particular kind of thought or action Elizabeth had a tendency to worry about things like not having permission. — Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Egypt Game
2 : a way of doing something that is becoming more common : trend
Seen and Heard
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