\ 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
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 Conservative and liberal students also tend to organize differently, Binder said. Chris Quintana, USA TODAY, "Nationalist 'antics' or the future of the GOP? College Republicans are at war," 17 Jan. 2020 The jobs’ physically demanding nature also tends to exclude candidates with disabilities. Tyler Aquilina, EW.com, "How assistants, and The Assistant, are challenging the culture of Hollywood," 12 Jan. 2020 Also, bookmakers tend to overprice game totals for the Rockets. Geoff Clark, USA TODAY Sportsbook Wire, "Minnesota Timberwolves at Houston Rockets odds, picks and best bets," 11 Jan. 2020 With Dorsey's help, students also tend to the farm and farm stand as hires or interns. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Eating at a Patachou restaurant? Your food might have been grown by Butler students.," 9 Jan. 2020 Fuel-efficient vehicles also tend to be cheaper up front. Dan Seitz, Popular Science, "It’s easy being green, but it doesn’t have to be expensive," 7 Jan. 2020 Fire storms also tend to stagnate, staying parked over the fires that create them. National Geographic, "Intense ‘firestorms’ forming from Australia’s deadly wildfires," 6 Jan. 2020 Men also tend to have a higher resting metabolism than women. Erin Palinski-wade, Rd, Cde, Ldn, Good Housekeeping, "How Many Calories Should I Eat a Day?," 6 Jan. 2020 Research has shown that disasters disproportionately damage low-income housing, which also tends to be rebuilt slowly, if at all. Melinda Wenner Moyer, Scientific American, "Low-Income Baltimore Blocks Host Bigger, More Dangerous Mosquitoes," 21 Dec. 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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Learn More about tend

Time Traveler for tend

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for tend

Last Updated

25 Jan 2020

Cite this Entry

“Tend.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/tends. Accessed 28 January 2020.

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More Definitions for tend


\ 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?


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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for tend

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with tend

Spanish Central: Translation of tend

Nglish: Translation of tend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of tend for Arabic Speakers

Comments on tend

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


showing steady, earnest care and effort

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