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

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Tendentious is one of several words you can apply to those who tend to favor a particular point of view, and it’s a particularly good choice when you want to express your disapproval of such tendencies. You may also 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 late 19th-century coinage based on the Latin-looking tendenti- (taken to be the Latinate stem of tendency) and the English suffix -ous, tendentious was likely inspired by the German tendeziös, of the same meaning.

Examples of tendentious in a Sentence

He made some extremely tendentious remarks.
Recent Examples on the Web Janet Yellen, now the U.S. Treasury secretary and then a Fed governor, made the tendentious case to Fed colleagues that inflation allowed firms to cut real wages without upsetting workers. James Freeman, WSJ, 17 June 2021 Some of the current revisionism can seem tendentious. Rebecca Mead, The New Yorker, 7 June 2021 Even media generally sympathetic to Israel have produced tendentious reporting (see this analysis of Fox News’ reporting). Elliott Abrams, National Review, 11 May 2021 What remains of the lab-leak theory is half-truths, misrepresentations, and tendentious conjecture. Michael Hiltzik, Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2021 Hennessey’s tendentious criticism of Trump’s retaliatory killing of Iranian commander Qasem Soleimani, a terror master behind decades of murderous attacks on Americans. Andrew C. Mccarthy, National Review, 12 May 2021 Right-wing news outlets in the United States published tendentious and thinly sourced reports that the virus may have come from the Wuhan Institute of Virology, famous in the scientific community for researching coronaviruses in bats. Washington Post, 31 Mar. 2021 But after some brassy assertions in the preface, Ghazvinian’s uneven and often tendentious account only compounds the confusion. Washington Post, 26 Feb. 2021 By declining to present an argument, and relying instead on factual-sounding statements, the Morgans concealed a tendentious purpose. William Hogeland, The New Republic, 25 Jan. 2021

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

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The first known use of tendentious was in 1874

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Last Updated

20 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Tendentious.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tendentious. Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for tendentious



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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