Definition of tendency in English:



  • 1An inclination toward a particular characteristic or type of behavior.

    ‘for students, there is a tendency to socialize in the evenings’
    ‘criminal tendencies’
    • ‘Tendencies towards autocracy seem embedded in the country's political culture.’
    • ‘Heavy drinkers can show violent tendencies and personal relationships may suffer as a result.’
    • ‘A dreary trait of actors is their tendency to gush about the great privilege it was to work with each other.’
    • ‘My hair has a tendency to frizz up and stick out over my ears.’
    • ‘We are a country with very real isolationist tendencies.’
    • ‘His tendency to spend was a problem from the start.’
    • ‘The human race has a pervasive tendency towards religious conviction.’
    • ‘Research has shown that we have a tendency to eat more when it is darker.’
    • ‘Young children have a tendency to put just about anything in their mouths.’
    • ‘I have a bad tendency to move on to the new cool project and leave other projects behind.’
    • ‘She does have a tendency to get involved if she sees a fight.’
    • ‘He has a tendency to be ruthless when he has tired of a girlfriend.’
    • ‘I have a tendency to scratch vigorously behind my right knee when distracted.’
    • ‘If we have to keep this going, we will have to control the tendency to burst out laughing.’
    • ‘There was a growing tendency among city dwellers to install power showers instead of baths.’
    • ‘Our libertarian tendency supports the free flow of information.’
    • ‘Life has an inherent tendency to be novel and spontaneously creative.’
    • ‘He showed suicidal tendencies.’
    • ‘You are pessimistic and have a tendency to behave negatively.’
    • ‘He attacked the tendency for rights to outweigh citizens' sense of responsibility.’
    trend, movement, drift, swing, gravitation
    propensity, proclivity, proneness, aptness, likelihood, inclination, disposition, predisposition, bent, leaning, penchant, predilection, susceptibility, liability
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 A group within a larger political party or movement.
      ‘the dominant tendency in the party remained right-wing’
      • ‘Their union had right-wing tendencies and had clashed with larger left-wing unions.’
      • ‘Each of the tendencies aims at a different sector of the political spectrum.’
      • ‘That inner war between rival tendencies is expressed in labour movements.’
      • ‘I think it would be a stunningly bad idea to give in to the threats of the anarchist tendency.’
      • ‘He acted with extreme brutality against separatist tendencies in the Caucasus.’
      • ‘Two political tendencies emerged during this period of rampant anti-Semitism.’
      • ‘Other tendencies or parties will prevail and hold the movement back.’
      • ‘These political tendencies are expected to register gains in the coming election.’
      • ‘All of these tendencies had their impact on the political orientation of the Fourth International.’
      • ‘Tito and his Communist regime acted sternly to suppress nationalist tendencies.’
      • ‘The wavering on the part of these tendencies explains the sharp turns undertaken by certain politicians.’
      • ‘The Bolshevik Party always had rightist, compromising tendencies and ultra-left tendencies.’
      • ‘Speakers from these tendencies sharply attacked the planned collaboration with him.’
      • ‘Numerous left tendencies advanced this theory.’


Early 17th century: from medieval Latin tendentia, from tendere to stretch (see tend).