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’
    • ‘People in the West tend not to read books in languages other than their own.’
    • ‘These rolls were rather fragile, so they tended to become damaged.’
    • ‘They tend not to be frequenters of high-art institutions.’
    • ‘Your work tends not to employ direct political messages.’
    • ‘People tend not to like to wait.’
    • ‘Photocopies of handwritten notes look scrappy and tend not to be valued.’
    • ‘Winning entries tend musically to sound rather similar.’
    • ‘George's adoration of his small children tended to evaporate as they grew older.’
    • ‘Some cultures also tend not to make eye contact.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Very obese people tend not to exercise.’
    • ‘People tended not to save email messages.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘My personal network tends to be limited to people in similar fields to me.’
    • ‘The primary carer tends frequently to be the mother and therefore the law favours the mother.’
    • ‘They tended to live beyond their means, and on one occasion barely avoided bankruptcy.’
    • ‘Rather than finding the deserters, the army tends simply dismiss them in their absence.’
    • ‘I write most of my stuff late at night and tend not to spend a lot of time editing it.’
    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.’
      • ‘They tend toward dark complexions and dark hair.’
      • ‘Custom-made furniture for kitchens and bathrooms tends towards the traditional, but with a contemporary twist.’
      • ‘My partner tends towards political pessimism.’
      • ‘Everything that tends towards mutual understanding must be encouraged.’
      • ‘He was tending towards crankiness.’
      • ‘Too many of the characterizations tend towards the stereotypical.’
      • ‘His clientele tend toward having cultivated tastes.’
      • ‘The script tends towards melodrama.’
      • ‘Your answers to the questions indicate that you tend toward being a Director.’
      • ‘The meeting tended towards the mundane.’
      • ‘The day was a morbid grey, and tending towards chilly.’
      • ‘Here vegetation tends towards dark and spiky lushness.’
      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’
      • ‘All these questions tend in a particular direction.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Alan winced at the direction in which his thoughts were tending.’
      • ‘They bounced along the cracked road, the cyclist careful not to tend too near the Harbor Center tower.’
      • ‘Her taste has tended towards men with bicep measurements bigger than their IQ.’
      • ‘His past five albums have tended towards themes which are familiar to country music fans.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘History did not tend simply upward or simply downward but in both directions at once.’
      • ‘I know people around me would tend in that direction.’
      • ‘The arguments always tend in the same direction.’
      • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘The oaks were planted in special soil and tended carefully during cultivation.’
    • ‘Someone had to plant the trees and tend them until the coffee beans reached maturity.’
    • ‘Local people have shown great community initiative by tending by planting, watering and looking after the flower beds.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘You will find some of the cleanest and best tended beaches on the west coast.’
    • ‘The workers take on the responsibility of cultivating the ground and tending the crops.’
    • ‘She took a keen interest in flowers and plants, tending them with great care and fondness.’
    • ‘They spend countless hours each summer planting, tending and enjoying their gardens.’
    • ‘She and her husband regularly tended the small plot at the crematorium where the ashes of her parents are buried.’
    • ‘The man next door tends his weeds with care.’
    • ‘Trees grow more quickly here, and they cost less to plant, tend, and harvest.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These pitches are definitely not a pretty sight, and they most certainly are not tended with loving care.’
    • ‘She and husband Paul have lovingly tended the garden at their home.’
    • ‘The very basis of growing plants is tending the soil itself.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Both men work hard in tending their crops and caring for the animals, especially their cow.’
    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’
      • ‘I was tending bar that night.’
      • ‘He acknowledged the woman tending bar with a simple nod.’
      • ‘I chattered for 10 minutes with the girl tending the bar.’
      • ‘He still spends his days tending bar, surrounded by smokers.’
      • ‘The room was almost deserted except for the man tending the bar.’
      • ‘She was tending bar, being snappy to customers.’
      • ‘She ordered an ice water from the man tending the bar.’
      • ‘Some aspiring movie stars tend bar to make ends meet.’
      • ‘After a week's vacation, he plans to go back to tending bar.’
      • ‘Too many people who tend bar think of it as something to do while waiting for their big career break.’
      • ‘She manages a restaurant downtown and tends bar once a week.’
      • ‘The two met a decade ago when he was tending bar.’
      • ‘They like to hire rugged, macho-looking guys to tend bar.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He stopped to talk to the owner who was tending the bar.’
      • ‘Casual work was easy enough to find, even if I did have to tend bars or wait tables.’
      • ‘My dream has always been to tend bar at a beachfront resort.’
      • ‘She tends bar at a posh dance club by night and works at a record store by day.’
      • ‘I spent many years tending bar in a nightclub before my husband and I decided to open our own place.’
    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/