tend

verb (1)
\ ˈtend How to pronounce tend (audio) \
tended; tending; tends

Definition of tend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to exhibit an inclination or tendency : conduce tends to be optimistic
2 : to move, direct, or develop one's course in a particular direction cannot tell where society is tending

tend

verb (2)
tended; tending; tends

Definition of tend (Entry 2 of 2)

intransitive verb

1 : to pay attention : apply oneself tend to your own affairs tend to our correspondence
2 : to act as an attendant : serve tended to his wife
3 archaic : listen
4 obsolete : await

transitive verb

1a : to apply oneself to the care of : watch over tended her sick father
b : to have or take charge of as a caretaker or overseer tend the sheep
d : to manage the operations of : mind tend the store tend the fire
2 : to stand by (something, such as a rope) in readiness to prevent mischance (such as fouling)
3 archaic : to attend as a servant

Examples of tend in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

The use of filters can help signal a benign post: People don’t tend to pretty up their victimizing. Katy Steinmetz, Time, "Inside Instagram's War on Bullying," 8 July 2019 At Luzira Women's Prison, prisoners wearing yellow dresses tended to an already well-manicured garden. Alice Mccool, CNN, "She wrote a poem about a vagina. It landed her in jail," 7 July 2019 In modern times, though, presidents have tended to stand back and let the people party. CBS News, "How presidents through the years have celebrated July 4th," 4 July 2019 Before Leaves of Grass, bards tended to idolize romantic tropes established by English poets such as William Wordsworth and Alfred Tennyson. Anne Quito, Quartzy, "In 1855, Walt Whitman published his own declaration of independence," 4 July 2019 Spider-Man in black was moodier and spookier; comics costumes tend toward that kind of visual determinism in general. Adam Rogers, WIRED, "Spider-Man Is Back ... But Why All Dressed in Black?," 3 July 2019 The bathos of the latter tends to casts an absurd light on the former. Hermione Hoby, The New Yorker, "What Does It Mean to Be a “Real” Writer?," 3 July 2019 Presidents have tended to stay home and host celebrations at the White House or to visit festivities around the country. The Economist, "Donald Trump rebrands Independence Day," 3 July 2019 Barley tends to adopt the flavors of other foods, making it a great addition to chilled salads, hearty soups and stews, pilafs, and rice dishes. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, "This nutritious grain provides cholesterol lowering fiber in this summer salad," 30 June 2019

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

Verb (1)

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb (2)

14th century, in the meaning defined at intransitive sense 3

History and Etymology for tend

Verb (1)

Middle English tenden "to stretch, spread, direct oneself (to), incline toward," borrowed from Anglo-French & Latin; Anglo-French tendre "to stretch, hold out, offer, direct (one's course), go, aim (at)," going back to Latin tendere "to extend outward, stretch, spread out, direct (one's course), aim (at a purpose)" (Medieval Latin, "to lead toward, move in a particular direction") — more at tender entry 3

Verb (2)

Middle English tenden, shortened from attenden "to attend" or entenden, intenden "to intend"

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Statistics for tend

Last Updated

12 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for tend

The first known use of tend was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for tend

tend

verb
\ ˈtend How to pronounce tend (audio) \
tended; tending

Kids Definition of tend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : to take care of She tends the garden.
2 : to pay attention You should tend to business.
3 : to manage the operation of Who's tending the store?

tend

verb
tended; tending

Kids Definition of tend (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to be likely She tends to sleep late.
2 : to move or turn in a certain direction The road tends to the right.

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More from Merriam-Webster on tend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tend

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tend

Spanish Central: Translation of tend

Nglish: Translation of tend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tend for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tend

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