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
• 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
early 17th cent.: from medieval Latin tendentia, from tendere ‘to stretch’.
• 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.
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
4. a general direction in which something tends to move
- the shoreward tendency of the current
- the trend of the stock market
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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