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 Radio and television in South Africa are effectively state-owned. … News reporting is selective and tendentious, customarily presenting only the government's view of events, and attacking or ignoring its opponents.— William Finnegan YouTube-style montages and mash-ups have been an excellent tool for seeing and showing how rhetoric takes shape. Of course, these videos can themselves be polemical, and people use them to advance all kinds of tendentious theories.— Virginia Heffernan

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 the end of the 19th century.

Examples of tendentious in a Sentence

He made some extremely tendentious remarks.
Recent Examples on the Web After the Court overturned Roe v. Wade, your social-media feed might have included any number of tendentious PSAs. Charles Hilu, National Review, 3 July 2022 On that basis, a competent statistician might expect the distributions of cogent and tendentious letter-writers to the The New York Review of Books to be bell-shaped. Jessica Riskin, The New York Review of Books, 21 Apr. 2022 And liberals applauded President Biden’s recent decision to sic his Justice Department on parents who dare to speak out against racially tendentious education policies and scientifically suspect Covid protocols at school board meetings. Jason L. Riley, WSJ, 12 Oct. 2021 As Mark Joseph Stern writes at Slate, the reasoning was ridiculous and tendentious. Ryan Cooper, The Week, 17 Jan. 2022 Polls can have their own politics, and media polls are often accused of being tendentious. Joseph Epstein, WSJ, 26 Oct. 2021 This is clearly a tendentious, after-the-fact argument. Rich Lowry, National Review, 16 Nov. 2021 Such is the hazard of working a beat on which Fox News alternates among tendentious falsehoods, outright lunacy and hateful, racist content. Washington Post, 19 July 2021 The lawmakers behind the bill drew their ideas from a single tendentious book written by journalist Elias Castillo. Salvatore J. Cordileone And José H. Gomez, WSJ, 12 Sep. 2021 See More

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.

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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The first known use of tendentious was in 1874

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Last Updated

26 Jul 2022

Cite this Entry

“Tendentious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tendentious. Accessed 18 Aug. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of tendentious for Spanish Speakers


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