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

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’
    • ‘Caring for livestock or tending the land seems an idyllic lifestyle.’
    • ‘The man next door tends his weeds with care.’
    • ‘Trees grow more quickly here, and they cost less to plant, tend, and harvest.’
    • ‘They spend countless hours each summer planting, tending and enjoying their gardens.’
    • ‘She took a keen interest in flowers and plants, tending them with great care and fondness.’
    • ‘The workers take on the responsibility of cultivating the ground and tending the crops.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These pitches are definitely not a pretty sight, and they most certainly are not tended with loving care.’
    • ‘The oaks were planted in special soil and tended carefully during cultivation.’
    • ‘She and her husband regularly tended the small plot at the crematorium where the ashes of her parents are buried.’
    • ‘You will find some of the cleanest and best tended beaches on the west coast.’
    • ‘Someone had to plant the trees and tend them until the coffee beans reached maturity.’
    • ‘The very basis of growing plants is tending the soil itself.’
    • ‘Local people have shown great community initiative by tending by planting, watering and looking after the flower beds.’
    • ‘While most of the graves are lovingly tended, many others are overgrown, unkempt and desecrated.’
    • ‘You must have a familiarity with the character and history of the land you tend.’
    • ‘His gardens are tended with skill and care, and his home is neat.’
    • ‘Part of a doctor's vocation is to tend the sick with care and conscientiousness.’
    • ‘She and husband Paul have lovingly tended the garden at their home.’
    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’
      • ‘She tends bar at a posh dance club by night and works at a record store by day.’
      • ‘I was tending bar that night.’
      • ‘My dream has always been to tend bar at a beachfront resort.’
      • ‘Casual work was easy enough to find, even if I did have to tend bars or wait tables.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Instead of putting up with condescending comments from customers at the bar she tended, she began to challenge them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Too many people who tend bar think of it as something to do while waiting for their big career break.’
      • ‘He still spends his days tending bar, surrounded by smokers.’
      • ‘She was tending bar, being snappy to customers.’
      • ‘After a week's vacation, he plans to go back to tending bar.’
      • ‘Some aspiring movie stars tend bar to make ends meet.’
      • ‘She manages a restaurant downtown and tends bar once a week.’
      • ‘They like to hire rugged, macho-looking guys to tend bar.’
      • ‘He stopped to talk to the owner who was tending the bar.’
      • ‘He acknowledged the woman tending bar with a simple nod.’
      • ‘The room was almost deserted except for the man tending the bar.’
      • ‘She ordered an ice water from the man tending the 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/