ten·dency [tendency tendencies] BrE [ˈtendənsi]
NAmE [ˈtendənsi]
noun (pl. ten·dencies)
1. countable if sb/sth has a particular tendency, they are likely to behave or act in a particular way
to display artistic, etc. tendencies
~ (for sb/sth) (to do sth) I have a tendency to talk too much when I'm nervous.
There is a tendency for this disease to run in families.
This material has a tendency to shrink when washed.
~ (to/towards sth) She has a strong natural tendency towards caution.
2. countable ~ (for sb/sth) (to do sth) | ~ (to/towards sth) a new custom that is starting to develop
Syn: trend
There is a growing tendency among employers to hire casual staff.
3. countable + singular or plural verb (BrE) a group within a larger political group, whose views are more extreme than those of the rest of the group
the militant tendency
Word Origin:
early 17th cent.: from medieval Latin tendentia, from tendere ‘to stretch’.
Example Bank:
Industry showed a tendency towards increasingly centralized administration.
The civil war reinforced the centrifugal tendencies at work within the economy.
The later model has an unfortunate tendency to collapse after a few weeks' use.
The tendency on the part of the children is to blame their parents for everything.
There is a tendency for farm sizes to increase.
There's a growing tendency for women to marry later.
a worrying tendency among the abused to become abusers
our natural human tendency to group all the things we don't like together
Several patients admitted to suicidal tendencies.
The natural tendency is to try harder when there are problems with a project.
The training courses aim to reduce the tendency for young people to leave the industry.
There is a growing tendency among employers to hire casual workers.
There is a tendency for group leaders to interfere too much.
They have a tendency towards over-optimism.
We have a tendency to blame ourselves when things go wrong.

WordNet Dictionary:
1. an attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others
- he had an inclination to give up too easily
- a tendency to be too strict
Syn: inclination, disposition
2. an inclination to do something
- he felt leanings toward frivolity
Syn: leaning, propensity
- the alkaline inclination of the local waters
- fabric with a tendency to shrink
Syn: inclination
4. a general direction in which something tends to move
- the shoreward tendency of the current
- the trend of the stock market
Syn: trend

Webster's 1913 Dictionary:
n.1.Direction or course toward any place, object, effect, or result; drift; causal or efficient influence to bring about an effect or result.
Writings of this kind, if conducted with candor, have a more particular tendency to the good of their country.
In every experimental science, there is a tendency toward perfection.

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