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


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

Experienced parade-goers know that turns are the best places to watch parades, because the procession tends to slow down, giving onlookers better perspectives. Doug Maccash, nola.com, "New Orleans’ Pride Parade 2019 was a glorious group hug," 9 June 2019 Herbs are generally the leafy or flowering part of the plant, while spices tend to be the seed, bark, root or fruit of the plant. Bibby Gignilliat, The Mercury News, "Quick Cook: Herb, Garlic and Lemon Halibut," 8 June 2019 To maximise their chances, many are offering not just a single service (such as search or video), as Western firms tended to in their early years, but a bundle of services in one app instead, in the hope of making more money per user. The Economist, "The second half of humanity is joining the internet," 8 June 2019 Book a stay and spend the evenings sipping wine while gazing out into Monterey Bay and tending to your many beloved grudges just like your favorite characters from the show. Olivia Harrison, refinery29.com, "Big Little Lies-Inspired Airbnbs To Book Before Season Two Ends," 8 June 2019 As the legal market has matured there and in other states, frequent consumers have been buying less flower and more edibles and concentrates, whereas older occasional users tend to stick with joints and pipes. Robert Mccoppin, chicagotribune.com, "Coming soon to a party near you: marijuana users, and there's a wide variety of them," 7 June 2019 Bowen said a Western Lakes medical unit also tended to Justice, the police dog who was stabbed during the standoff. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Here's how the Oconomowoc community thanked first responders after a 12-hour police standoff," 7 June 2019 But still, the best organizations in sports tend to inspire loyalty among present and past players alike. Jamie Samuelsen, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions' path should be clear: Just give Calvin Johnson back the money," 5 June 2019 As is often the case, local business and elected officials tend to stress that uncommon acts of violence in their small towns are perpetrated by people who don’t live there. Kaylee Remington, cleveland.com, "Pepper Pike mayor, residents say triple tapas bar shooting an anomaly in high-end suburb," 4 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

14 Jun 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


\ 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

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

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