ten·​den·​tious | \ ten-ˈden(t)-shəs How to pronounce tendentious (audio) \

Definition of tendentious

: marked by a tendency in favor of a particular point of view : biased

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Other Words from tendentious

tendentiously adverb
tendentiousness noun

Did You Know?

Tendentious is one of several words English speakers can choose when they want to suggest that someone has made up his or her mind in advance. You may be partial to predisposed or prone to favor partisan, but whatever your leanings, we're inclined to think you'll benefit from adding tendentious to your repertoire. A derivative of the Medieval Latin word tendentia, meaning "tendency," plus the English suffix -ious, tendentious has been used in English as an adjective for biased attitudes since at least 1900.

Examples of tendentious in a Sentence

He made some extremely tendentious remarks.

Recent Examples on the Web

The Duplass brothers’ new series represents a huge advance over those previous, thoroughly tendentious treatments, in two major ways. Win Mccormack, The New Republic, "Outside the Limits of the Human Imagination," 27 Mar. 2018 Even the names of the effects are more tendentious than descriptive. Daniel Engber, Slate Magazine, "Does a school’s enrollment really go down when students protest en masse?," 12 Sep. 2017 That historical account would be as self-serving and tendentious, in its own way, as our current glorious one. Adam Gopnik, The New Yorker, "We Could Have Been Canada," 15 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'tendentious.' 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 tendentious

1874, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for tendentious

tendenti- (taken as Latinate stem of tendency) + -ous, probably after German tendeziös

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Statistics for tendentious

Last Updated

23 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for tendentious

The first known use of tendentious was in 1874

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English Language Learners Definition of tendentious

formal + disapproving : strongly favoring a particular point of view in a way that may cause argument : expressing a strong opinion

More from Merriam-Webster on tendentious

Nglish: Translation of tendentious for Spanish Speakers

Comments on tendentious

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


to move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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