Main definitions of tend in English

: tend1tend2

tend1

verb

[NO OBJECT]
  • 1 Regularly or frequently behave in a particular way or have a certain characteristic.

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

    ‘Varela tended plants on the roof’
    [no object] ‘ambulance crews were tending to the injured’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Part of a doctor's vocation is to tend the sick with care and conscientiousness.’
    • ‘He had no land to cultivate nor crops to tend.’
    • ‘Someone had to plant the trees and tend them until the coffee beans reached maturity.’
    • ‘Both men work hard in tending their crops and caring for the animals, especially their cow.’
    • ‘The man next door tends his weeds with care.’
    • ‘You must have a familiarity with the character and history of the land you tend.’
    • ‘They spend countless hours each summer planting, tending and enjoying their gardens.’
    • ‘Caring for livestock or tending the land seems an idyllic lifestyle.’
    • ‘While most of the graves are lovingly tended, many others are overgrown, unkempt and desecrated.’
    • ‘Local people have shown great community initiative by tending by planting, watering and looking after the flower beds.’
    • ‘She and husband Paul have lovingly tended the garden at their home.’
    • ‘Trees grow more quickly here, and they cost less to plant, tend, and harvest.’
    • ‘You will find some of the cleanest and best tended beaches on the west coast.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘His gardens are tended with skill and care, and his home is neat.’
    look after, take care of, care for, minister to, attend to, see to, wait on, cater to
    watch over, keep an eye on, mind, protect, watch, guard
    nurse, nurture, cherish
    maintain, cultivate, keep, manage
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1US Direct or manage; work in.
      ‘I've been tending bar at the airport lounge’
      • ‘Too many people who tend bar think of it as something to do while waiting for their big career break.’
      • ‘He stopped to talk to the owner who was tending the 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.’
      • ‘I chattered for 10 minutes with the girl tending the bar.’
      • ‘After a week's vacation, he plans to go back to tending bar.’
      • ‘She manages a restaurant downtown and tends bar once a week.’
      • ‘He still spends his days tending bar, surrounded by smokers.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They like to hire rugged, macho-looking guys to tend bar.’
      • ‘The room was almost deserted except for the man tending the bar.’
      • ‘Casual work was easy enough to find, even if I did have to tend bars or wait tables.’
      • ‘I was tending bar that night.’
      • ‘He acknowledged the woman tending bar with a simple nod.’
      • ‘She ordered an ice water from the man tending the bar.’
      • ‘Some aspiring movie stars tend bar to make ends meet.’
      • ‘The two met a decade ago when he was tending bar.’
      • ‘She tends bar at a posh dance club by night and works at a record store by day.’
      • ‘She was tending bar, being snappy to customers.’
    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/