Main definitions of tend in English

: tend1tend2

tend1

verb

  • 1no object, with infinitive Regularly or frequently behave in a particular way or have a certain characteristic.

    ‘written language tends to be formal’
    ‘her hair tended to come loose’
    • ‘You tend not to go out partying and clubbing till 2am.’
    • ‘They tended to live beyond their means, and on one occasion barely avoided bankruptcy.’
    • ‘We tend not to reapply sun cream frequently enough.’
    • ‘They tend not to be frequenters of high-art institutions.’
    • ‘George's adoration of his small children tended to evaporate as they grew older.’
    • ‘My personal network tends to be limited to people in similar fields to me.’
    • ‘People tend not to like to wait.’
    • ‘People tended not to save email messages.’
    • ‘Rather than finding the deserters, the army tends simply dismiss them in their absence.’
    • ‘Your work tends not to employ direct political messages.’
    • ‘These rolls were rather fragile, so they tended to become damaged.’
    • ‘Popular though these titles are, their appeal tends to be limited to a particular culture.’
    • ‘Winning entries tend musically to sound rather similar.’
    • ‘Very obese people tend not to exercise.’
    • ‘I write most of my stuff late at night and tend not to spend a lot of time editing it.’
    • ‘Photocopies of handwritten notes look scrappy and tend not to be valued.’
    • ‘People in the West tend not to read books in languages other than their own.’
    • ‘Some cultures also tend not to make eye contact.’
    • ‘The primary carer tends frequently to be the mother and therefore the law favours the mother.’
    • ‘Historians during the 20th century tended overwhelmingly to write about single countries - almost always their own.’
    be inclined, be apt, be disposed, be prone, be liable, have a tendency, show a tendency, be likely, have a propensity
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1tend to/towardsno object Be liable to possess or display (a particular characteristic)
      ‘Walter tended towards corpulence’
      • ‘Here vegetation tends towards dark and spiky lushness.’
      • ‘Everything that tends towards mutual understanding must be encouraged.’
      • ‘His other stories tend towards an intentional fuzziness.’
      • ‘His clientele tend toward having cultivated tastes.’
      • ‘The script tends towards melodrama.’
      • ‘The meeting tended towards the mundane.’
      • ‘They tend toward dark complexions and dark hair.’
      • ‘Too many of the characterizations tend towards the stereotypical.’
      • ‘The day was a morbid grey, and tending towards chilly.’
      • ‘Custom-made furniture for kitchens and bathrooms tends towards the traditional, but with a contemporary twist.’
      • ‘My partner tends towards political pessimism.’
      • ‘He was tending towards crankiness.’
      • ‘Your answers to the questions indicate that you tend toward being a Director.’
      incline, lean, swing, veer, gravitate, be drawn, move
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2no object, with adverbial Go or move in a particular direction.
      ‘fire is hot and tends upwards’
      • ‘Her roles to date have been varied, though she tends towards characters who are powerful, capable or magnetic.’
      • ‘Who controls events, and in which direction do they tend?’
      • ‘History did not tend simply upward or simply downward but in both directions at once.’
      • ‘It's hard to talk about her without tending into the language of the mythical.’
      • ‘All these questions tend in a particular direction.’
      • ‘Alan winced at the direction in which his thoughts were tending.’
      • ‘His past five albums have tended towards themes which are familiar to country music fans.’
      • ‘He supports his body by putting his foot forward in the direction in which the center of gravity tends.’
      • ‘We are confident that, in the long run, things tend upward.’
      • ‘Her taste has tended towards men with bicep measurements bigger than their IQ.’
      • ‘I know people around me would tend in that direction.’
      • ‘She tends toward the sentimental, but most of her films at least have some form of character development.’
      • ‘The arguments always tend in the same direction.’
      • ‘You know the direction in which American policy in this region should be tending.’
      • ‘They bounced along the cracked road, the cyclist careful not to tend too near the Harbor Center tower.’
      • ‘When I get food, I've been tending towards organic.’
    3. 1.3tend toMathematics no object (of a variable) approach a given quantity as a limit.
      ‘the orbit tends to infinity’
      • ‘As time tends to infinity both the variance and the total number tends to zero.’
      • ‘The requirements of perfect competition are that there must be very large, tending to infinite, numbers of producers and of consumers.’

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘move or be inclined to move in a certain direction’): from Old French tendre ‘stretch, tend’, from Latin tendere.

Pronunciation

tend

/tɛnd/

Main definitions of tend in English

: tend1tend2

tend2

verb

[WITH OBJECT]
  • 1Care for or look after; give one's attention to.

    ‘Varela tended plants on the roof’
    no object ‘ambulance crews were tending to the injured’
    • ‘His gardens are tended with skill and care, and his home is neat.’
    • ‘You will find some of the cleanest and best tended beaches on the west coast.’
    • ‘While most of the graves are lovingly tended, many others are overgrown, unkempt and desecrated.’
    • ‘The workers take on the responsibility of cultivating the ground and tending the crops.’
    • ‘The man next door tends his weeds with care.’
    • ‘They spend countless hours each summer planting, tending and enjoying their gardens.’
    • ‘Trees grow more quickly here, and they cost less to plant, tend, and harvest.’
    • ‘Local people have shown great community initiative by tending by planting, watering and looking after the flower beds.’
    • ‘You must have a familiarity with the character and history of the land you tend.’
    • ‘He had no land to cultivate nor crops to tend.’
    • ‘Both men work hard in tending their crops and caring for the animals, especially their cow.’
    • ‘She took a keen interest in flowers and plants, tending them with great care and fondness.’
    • ‘She and husband Paul have lovingly tended the garden at their home.’
    • ‘The oaks were planted in special soil and tended carefully during cultivation.’
    • ‘These pitches are definitely not a pretty sight, and they most certainly are not tended with loving care.’
    • ‘Part of a doctor's vocation is to tend the sick with care and conscientiousness.’
    • ‘Someone had to plant the trees and tend them until the coffee beans reached maturity.’
    • ‘Caring for livestock or tending the land seems an idyllic lifestyle.’
    • ‘The very basis of growing plants is tending the soil itself.’
    • ‘She and her husband regularly tended the small plot at the crematorium where the ashes of her parents are buried.’
    look after, take care of, care for, minister to, attend to, see to, wait on, cater to
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1US Direct or manage; work in.
      ‘I've been tending bar at the airport lounge’
      • ‘Some aspiring movie stars tend bar to make ends meet.’
      • ‘He stopped to talk to the owner who was tending the bar.’
      • ‘They like to hire rugged, macho-looking guys to tend bar.’
      • ‘He still spends his days tending bar, surrounded by smokers.’
      • ‘He acknowledged the woman tending bar with a simple nod.’
      • ‘Instead of putting up with condescending comments from customers at the bar she tended, she began to challenge them.’
      • ‘She ordered an ice water from the man tending the bar.’
      • ‘She tends bar at a posh dance club by night and works at a record store by day.’
      • ‘She manages a restaurant downtown and tends bar once a week.’
      • ‘Casual work was easy enough to find, even if I did have to tend bars or wait tables.’
      • ‘I was tending bar that night.’
      • ‘She was tending bar, being snappy to customers.’
      • ‘Too many people who tend bar think of it as something to do while waiting for their big career break.’
      • ‘The two met a decade ago when he was tending bar.’
      • ‘I spent many years tending bar in a nightclub before my husband and I decided to open our own place.’
      • ‘She eats at the restaurant about three times a week,and also buses tables and tends bar.’
      • ‘I chattered for 10 minutes with the girl tending the bar.’
      • ‘The room was almost deserted except for the man tending the bar.’
      • ‘My dream has always been to tend bar at a beachfront resort.’
      • ‘After a week's vacation, he plans to go back to tending bar.’
    2. 1.2archaic Wait on as an attendant or servant.
      ‘the man that tended the carpenter’
      no object ‘Enid tended on him there’
      • ‘The suicide bombers believe that a place in paradise awaited him, 70 virgins waiting to tend their every need.’
      • ‘I will be able to tend upon you regularly for the next week but after that my time will be divided.’

Origin

Middle English: shortening of attend.

Pronunciation

tend

/tɛnd/