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’
    • ‘Some cultures also tend not to make eye contact.’
    • ‘People tended not to save email messages.’
    • ‘Very obese people tend not to exercise.’
    • ‘My personal network tends to be limited to people in similar fields to me.’
    • ‘Photocopies of handwritten notes look scrappy and tend not to be valued.’
    • ‘Your work tends not to employ direct political messages.’
    • ‘These rolls were rather fragile, so they tended to become damaged.’
    • ‘People in the West tend not to read books in languages other than their own.’
    • ‘Winning entries tend musically to sound rather similar.’
    • ‘They tend not to be frequenters of high-art institutions.’
    • ‘You tend not to go out partying and clubbing till 2am.’
    • ‘Popular though these titles are, their appeal tends to be limited to a particular culture.’
    • ‘Historians during the 20th century tended overwhelmingly to write about single countries - almost always 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.’
    • ‘They tended to live beyond their means, and on one occasion barely avoided bankruptcy.’
    • ‘George's adoration of his small children tended to evaporate as they grew older.’
    • ‘The primary carer tends frequently to be the mother and therefore the law favours the mother.’
    • ‘Rather than finding the deserters, the army tends simply dismiss them in their absence.’
    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’
      • ‘His other stories tend towards an intentional fuzziness.’
      • ‘He was tending towards crankiness.’
      • ‘They tend toward dark complexions and dark hair.’
      • ‘Too many of the characterizations tend towards the stereotypical.’
      • ‘My partner tends towards political pessimism.’
      • ‘The script tends towards melodrama.’
      • ‘Your answers to the questions indicate that you tend toward being a Director.’
      • ‘The meeting tended towards the mundane.’
      • ‘Custom-made furniture for kitchens and bathrooms tends towards the traditional, but with a contemporary twist.’
      • ‘The day was a morbid grey, and tending towards chilly.’
      • ‘His clientele tend toward having cultivated tastes.’
      • ‘Here vegetation tends towards dark and spiky lushness.’
      • ‘Everything that tends towards mutual understanding must be encouraged.’
      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.’
      • ‘Alan winced at the direction in which his thoughts were tending.’
      • ‘We are confident that, in the long run, things tend upward.’
      • ‘You know the direction in which American policy in this region should be tending.’
      • ‘Who controls events, and in which direction do they tend?’
      • ‘The arguments always tend in the same direction.’
      • ‘It's hard to talk about her without tending into the language of the mythical.’
      • ‘All these questions tend in a particular direction.’
      • ‘Her taste has tended towards men with bicep measurements bigger than their IQ.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They bounced along the cracked road, the cyclist careful not to tend too near the Harbor Center tower.’
      • ‘He supports his body by putting his foot forward in the direction in which the center of gravity tends.’
      • ‘When I get food, I've been tending towards organic.’
      • ‘She tends toward the sentimental, but most of her films at least have some form of character development.’
      • ‘His past five albums have tended towards themes which are familiar to country music fans.’
    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’
    • ‘They spend countless hours each summer planting, tending and enjoying their gardens.’
    • ‘Local people have shown great community initiative by tending by planting, watering and looking after the flower beds.’
    • ‘You will find some of the cleanest and best tended beaches on the west coast.’
    • ‘He had no land to cultivate nor crops to tend.’
    • ‘Trees grow more quickly here, and they cost less to plant, tend, and harvest.’
    • ‘The very basis of growing plants is tending the soil itself.’
    • ‘These pitches are definitely not a pretty sight, and they most certainly are not tended with loving care.’
    • ‘She and her husband regularly tended the small plot at the crematorium where the ashes of her parents are buried.’
    • ‘While most of the graves are lovingly tended, many others are overgrown, unkempt and desecrated.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The oaks were planted in special soil and tended carefully during cultivation.’
    • ‘The man next door tends his weeds with care.’
    • ‘His gardens are tended with skill and care, and his home is neat.’
    • ‘You must have a familiarity with the character and history of the land you tend.’
    • ‘The workers take on the responsibility of cultivating the ground and tending the crops.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    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.’
      • ‘After a week's vacation, he plans to go back to tending bar.’
      • ‘I spent many years tending bar in a nightclub before my husband and I decided to open our own place.’
      • ‘The room was almost deserted except for the man tending the bar.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He acknowledged the woman tending bar with a simple nod.’
      • ‘She manages a restaurant downtown and tends bar once a week.’
      • ‘Some aspiring movie stars tend bar to make ends meet.’
      • ‘He stopped to talk to the owner who was tending the bar.’
      • ‘I was tending bar that night.’
      • ‘Instead of putting up with condescending comments from customers at the bar she tended, she began to challenge them.’
      • ‘I chattered for 10 minutes with the girl tending the bar.’
      • ‘She ordered an ice water from the man tending the bar.’
      • ‘They like to hire rugged, macho-looking guys to tend bar.’
      • ‘She eats at the restaurant about three times a week,and also buses tables and tends bar.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He still spends his days tending bar, surrounded by smokers.’
    2. 1.2archaic Wait on as an attendant or servant.
      ‘the man that tended the carpenter’
      no object ‘Enid tended on him there’
      • ‘I will be able to tend upon you regularly for the next week but after that my time will be divided.’
      • ‘The suicide bombers believe that a place in paradise awaited him, 70 virgins waiting to tend their every need.’

Origin

Middle English: shortening of attend.

Pronunciation

tend

/tɛnd/