Main definitions of tend in US English:

: tend1tend2

tend1

verb

  • 1no object, with infinitive 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’
    • ‘We tend not to reapply sun cream frequently enough.’
    • ‘Some cultures also tend not to make eye contact.’
    • ‘People in the West tend not to read books in languages other than their own.’
    • ‘Very obese people tend not to exercise.’
    • ‘Rather than finding the deserters, the army tends simply dismiss them in their absence.’
    • ‘You tend not to go out partying and clubbing till 2am.’
    • ‘Photocopies of handwritten notes look scrappy and tend not to be valued.’
    • ‘George's adoration of his small children tended to evaporate as they grew older.’
    • ‘Winning entries tend musically to sound rather similar.’
    • ‘My personal network tends to be limited to people in similar fields to me.’
    • ‘Historians during the 20th century tended overwhelmingly to write about single countries - almost always their own.’
    • ‘People tend not to like to wait.’
    • ‘People tended not to save email messages.’
    • ‘Your work tends not to employ direct political messages.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These rolls were rather fragile, so they tended to become damaged.’
    • ‘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/toward Be liable to possess or display (a particular characteristic)
      ‘Walter tended toward corpulence’
      • ‘Everything that tends towards mutual understanding must be encouraged.’
      • ‘He was tending towards crankiness.’
      • ‘His clientele tend toward having cultivated tastes.’
      • ‘Custom-made furniture for kitchens and bathrooms tends towards the traditional, but with a contemporary twist.’
      • ‘Your answers to the questions indicate that you tend toward being a Director.’
      • ‘My partner tends towards political pessimism.’
      • ‘They tend toward dark complexions and dark hair.’
      • ‘The day was a morbid grey, and tending towards chilly.’
      • ‘The meeting tended towards the mundane.’
      • ‘Here vegetation tends towards dark and spiky lushness.’
      • ‘Too many of the characterizations tend towards the stereotypical.’
      • ‘His other stories tend towards an intentional fuzziness.’
      • ‘The script tends towards melodrama.’
      incline, lean, swing, veer, gravitate, be drawn, move
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 Go or move in a particular direction.
      ‘the road tends west around small mountains’
      • ‘Who controls events, and in which direction do they tend?’
      • ‘You know the direction in which American policy in this region should be tending.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When I get food, I've been tending towards organic.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's hard to talk about her without tending into the language of the mythical.’
      • ‘Her taste has tended towards men with bicep measurements bigger than their IQ.’
      • ‘I know people around me would tend in that direction.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Alan winced at the direction in which his thoughts were tending.’
      • ‘He supports his body by putting his foot forward in the direction in which the center of gravity tends.’
      • ‘The arguments always tend in the same direction.’
      • ‘Her roles to date have been varied, though she tends towards characters who are powerful, capable or magnetic.’
    3. 1.3tend toMathematics Approach (a quantity or limit)
      ‘the Fourier coefficients tend to zero’
      • ‘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

/tend//tɛnd/

Main definitions of tend in US English:

: tend1tend2

tend2

verb

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

    ‘Viola tended plants on the roof’
    no object ‘for two or three months he tended to business’
    • ‘Caring for livestock or tending the land seems an idyllic lifestyle.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘These pitches are definitely not a pretty sight, and they most certainly are not tended with loving care.’
    • ‘He had no land to cultivate nor crops to tend.’
    • ‘The oaks were planted in special soil and tended carefully during cultivation.’
    • ‘She took a keen interest in flowers and plants, tending them with great care and fondness.’
    • ‘The man next door tends his weeds with care.’
    • ‘The workers take on the responsibility of cultivating the ground and tending the crops.’
    • ‘The very basis of growing plants is tending the soil itself.’
    • ‘His gardens are tended with skill and care, and his home is neat.’
    • ‘She and her husband regularly tended the small plot at the crematorium where the ashes of her parents are buried.’
    • ‘They spend countless hours each summer planting, tending and enjoying their gardens.’
    • ‘You will find some of the cleanest and best tended beaches on the west coast.’
    • ‘Both men work hard in tending their crops and caring for the animals, especially their cow.’
    • ‘Part of a doctor's vocation is to tend the sick with care and conscientiousness.’
    • ‘Trees grow more quickly here, and they cost less to plant, tend, and harvest.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Someone had to plant the trees and tend them until the coffee beans reached maturity.’
    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 manages a restaurant downtown and tends bar once a week.’
      • ‘Too many people who tend bar think of it as something to do while waiting for their big career break.’
      • ‘He acknowledged the woman tending bar with a simple nod.’
      • ‘Some aspiring movie stars tend bar to make ends meet.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They like to hire rugged, macho-looking guys to tend bar.’
      • ‘She was tending bar, being snappy to customers.’
      • ‘He still spends his days tending bar, surrounded by smokers.’
      • ‘She eats at the restaurant about three times a week,and also buses tables and tends bar.’
      • ‘Instead of putting up with condescending comments from customers at the bar she tended, she began to challenge them.’
      • ‘He stopped to talk to the owner who was tending the bar.’
      • ‘After a week's vacation, he plans to go back to tending bar.’
      • ‘Casual work was easy enough to find, even if I did have to tend bars or wait tables.’
      • ‘I spent many years tending bar in a nightclub before my husband and I decided to open our own place.’
      • ‘The two met a decade ago when he was tending bar.’
      • ‘I was tending bar that night.’
    2. 1.2archaic Wait on as an attendant or servant.
      • ‘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

/tend//tɛnd/