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 work is built on a tendentious or partial account of events, not to mention outright falsehoods. Rich Lowry, National Review, "The Treason of the Elites," 24 Oct. 2019 Depending on the reader, these connections are either entertaining and insightful or wild and tendentious, even misleading. Wray Herbert, Washington Post, "Why do we assume people are telling us the truth?," 6 Sep. 2019 Clever compositions enliven the shots of cameras and control rooms, where screens within screens transmit tendentious opinions to the American people. Troy Patterson, The New Yorker, "“The Loudest Voice” Eviscerates Roger Ailes and Fox News," 30 June 2019 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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Time Traveler for tendentious

Time Traveler

The first known use of tendentious was in 1874

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Statistics for tendentious

Last Updated

31 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Tendentious.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tendentious. Accessed 22 January 2020.

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More Definitions for tendentious


How to pronounce tendentious (audio)

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

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