as in trend
a prevailing or general movement or inclination we'll be seeing a tendency for skirt lengths to get shorter this coming season

Synonyms & Similar Words


Synonym Chooser

How is the word tendency different from other nouns like it?

Some common synonyms of tendency are current, drift, tenor, and trend. While all these words mean "movement in a particular direction," tendency implies an inclination sometimes amounting to an impelling force.

a general tendency toward inflation

In what contexts can current take the place of tendency?

Although the words current and tendency have much in common, current implies a clearly defined but not necessarily unalterable course.

an encounter that changed the current of my life

When is it sensible to use drift instead of tendency?

In some situations, the words drift and tendency are roughly equivalent. However, drift may apply to a tendency determined by external forces, or it may apply to an underlying or obscure trend of meaning or discourse.

the drift of the population away from large cities
got the drift of her argument

Where would tenor be a reasonable alternative to tendency?

The synonyms tenor and tendency are sometimes interchangeable, but tenor stresses a clearly perceptible direction and a continuous, undeviating course.

the tenor of the times

When can trend be used instead of tendency?

The words trend and tendency can be used in similar contexts, but trend applies to the general direction maintained by a winding or irregular course.

the long-term trend of the stock market is upward

Thesaurus Entries Near tendency

Cite this Entry

“Tendency.” Merriam-Webster.com Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/thesaurus/tendency. Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

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