Definition of tenderness in English:



  • 1Gentleness and kindness.

    ‘he picked her up in his arms with great tenderness’
    • ‘Although tenderness and lyrical moments were well present, the conception felt mostly sturdy; the weight of history and reverence on its shoulders here as in the other movements.’
    • ‘Music, like a small act of tenderness, aids romance and is certainly used in one way or another by most of us.’
    • ‘They pre-date the band's signing to Rough Trade and have a ramshackle charm, tenderness and vitality that can never be matched in a studio recording.’
    • ‘She soon established a studio that was crowded with visitors, not only to attend classes, but also to see her, seeking comfort, looking for happiness, tenderness and hope.’
    • ‘The family gave him the safety and tenderness that hospitals cannot give.’
    • ‘He conducts with drama, tenderness, and imagination, and he doesn't distort or sensationalize the music.’
    • ‘But since there was no word of tenderness or regret, I simply said, "Don't bother," and made up my mind I'd never see him again.’
    • ‘Every member also is given a word that represents his or her most angelic quality, such as "joy," " peace, " " tenderness, " and so on.’
    • ‘She also infuses warmth and a kind of tenderness into them even as they let their hair down on the dance floor.’
    • ‘He mixes tenderness with directness and a lack of sentimentality.’
    • ‘True, it's not a joyful film, but it was made with such tenderness, insight, and humanity.’
    • ‘Almost entirely sung through, the contemporary score mixes both vaudevillian frivolity and heartfelt tenderness seamlessly.’
    • ‘With a sudden, surprising gentle and tenderness, she smoothed the cream on his hand with careful precision.’
    • ‘Tenderness, a sign of vulnerability, is so feared that it is showered on women with verbal abuse and blows.’
    • ‘Love, danger, drugs, family, violence and tenderness power the drama.’
    • ‘I've never seen an equine vendor played with such a vulnerable tenderness.’
    • ‘Gentle percussion best elicits rebound tenderness.’
    • ‘Cruz gives a stoical performance that brings some tenderness to what is essentially a rather uncomfortably melancholic melodrama.’
    • ‘He felt that what we really scared of, what really puts the fear of bloody god into us and we'll run miles to avoid, is our tenderness and vulnerability.’
    kindness, kindliness, kind-heartedness, soft-heartedness, softness, tender-heartedness, compassion, compassionateness, care, concern, sympathy, warmth, warm-heartedness, fatherliness, motherliness, gentleness, benevolence, generosity, humaneness
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 Feelings of deep affection; devotion.
      ‘tenderness for the opposite sex’
      • ‘She held his sun-bronzed face between her hands, and gazed into his dark eyes with infinite tenderness.’
      • ‘I laughed with delight and laid my hand along his cheek, smiling at him as a sudden wave of tenderness swept me.’
      • ‘In exquisite tenderness the passionate embrace, climbing higher towards ecstasy.’
      • ‘Thus the figures in the Glasgow painting seem to be subtly caught between grief, tenderness, and adoration.’
      • ‘This looked at the ups and downs of togetherness, from the tenderness of a long term Relationship, to the loss of a loved one.’
      • ‘The way he evoked in stone such tenderness in the faces of Mary and Jesus is incredible.’
      • ‘As much tenderness as he felt for her, he did not verbalize his feelings and thoughts.’
      • ‘She looked at him, and felt a wave of tenderness.’
      • ‘Something in his voice caused me to raise my eyes to his, finding there a tenderness I had not expected.’
      • ‘His dark blue eyes gazed solemnly into hers, windows of tenderness.’
      • ‘With a single drawn-out look of longing, Cserhalmi conveys an unworldly tenderness with his deeply penetrating eyes.’
      • ‘He built the tenderness up slowly and carefully, until its consummation delivered a powerful emotional payoff.’
      • ‘The recurrence of the word "tranquility" suggests sensibility's modulated tone: it demanded tears, not sobs; tenderness, rather than emotional storms.’
      • ‘When the song ended, they remained in a hug for that extra moment of tenderness.’
      • ‘Positively, God exercises his sanctifying power in us in order to lovingly and with much tenderness draw us close to his heart.’
      • ‘So looking back in tenderness along the road we trod, we will cherish the time we had with our dear sister, Ruby, and leave the rest to God.’
      • ‘There are one or two ladies he refers to with special tenderness, but he remains unmarried.’
      • ‘There is silence in the awe of their powerful tenderness.’
      • ‘He stole the tenderness in her lips with fierce lust, not even closing the door before he began clawing at his belt.’
      • ‘And you know, in there with the queasy grin fuel and crosseyed party favours are some special, secret moments of touching tenderness.’
      affection, fondness, love, devotion, loving-kindness, emotion, sentiment, sentimentality, emotionalism
      View synonyms
  • 2Sensitivity to pain.

    ‘abdominal tenderness’
    • ‘Palpation of the Achilles tendon often elicits tenderness along the tendon.’
    • ‘The abdomen was soft with mild right upper quadrant tenderness on deep palpation.’
    • ‘It is very important for you to decide if superficial tenderness has its origin in the abdominal wall or in the intra-abdominal viscera.’
    • ‘Breast tenderness is often one of the very first signs of pregnancy that women experience.’
    • ‘Recurrent medial joint line pain, instability, and tenderness may indicate a chronic medial meniscal tear or osteoarthritis.’
    • ‘The patient walked with a normal gait, and there was no tenderness on percussion of the lumbar spine.’
    • ‘Other side effects may occur including headaches, weight gain, nausea, breast tenderness, and depression.’
    • ‘Note any drainage, redness, swelling or tenderness at exit site or along the tract.’
    • ‘Patients with right upper quadrant tenderness require an abdominal ultrasound.’
    • ‘If the part of the body corresponding to the reflex area is out of balance then a degree of tenderness will be felt in the foot when pressure is applied.’
    • ‘Her extremities revealed no clubbing, cyanosis, edema, and no calf or thigh tenderness.’
    • ‘Tenderness is the main finding in disease of this area.’
    • ‘There was no tenderness on bony palpation over the paranasal sinuses.’
    • ‘Such rebound tenderness is a sign of peritoneal irritation.’
    • ‘Parents recorded redness, swelling, and tenderness in a diary for three days after immunisation.’
    • ‘The hand and wrist should be palpated to localize the tenderness to a specific location.’
    • ‘The physical examination reveals tenderness of the distal biceps tendon that increases with resisted flexion and supination.’
    • ‘On physical examination, tenderness over the pubic symphysis is usually present, and lack of such tenderness usually excludes the diagnosis.’
    • ‘Possible side effects Breast tenderness, headaches, skin irritation.’
    • ‘Bacterial prostatitis is diagnosed by a rectal examination, which reveals the acute tenderness of the gland.’
    sensitivity to pain, soreness, painfulness, inflammation, rawness
    View synonyms
  • 3The quality of being easy to cut or chew; succulence.

    ‘steak braised to perfect tenderness in a red-wine-and-brandy sauce’
    • ‘I can't vouch for their tenderness, as compared to other raw peas I've had in the past.’
    • ‘Increasing tenderness of beef would likely increase consumer demand for beef.’
    • ‘The steak was grilled to perfection, yet retaining its juicy tenderness.’
    • ‘What is most important is the tenderness of the meat.’
    • ‘When the pasta is cooked to the tenderness you prefer, drain it in a sieve and tip into the pan of tomatoes.’
    • ‘Breeding cows for beef is often slow because the qualities of a top-grade cut, marbling and tenderness, are unknown until after a cow is slaughtered.’
    • ‘The natural flavour and tenderness of the salmon is not smothered and the combination is far more manageable.’
    • ‘An anionic diet fed to steers did not alter plasma or muscle calcium concentrations or striploin steak tenderness.’
    • ‘In this dish, the veal is served in a broth-rich pot with the beef cooked to an ideal tenderness.’
    • ‘The stars of her kitchen are her sauces, created by first seasoning and browning the meat, then letting it cook down slowly to exquisite tenderness in a rich brown sauce.’
    • ‘Beef processors have numerous techniques they can use to influence beef product tenderness including aging and various methods of mechanical tenderizing.’
    • ‘At this stage, the tenderness of meat can also be influenced by breaking it down physically.’
    • ‘To ensure its tenderness, the loin was first seared then cooked at a very low temperature for a couple of hours.’
    • ‘Extensive consumer evaluation has demonstrated that tenderness is the most important characteristic in determining the level of satisfaction reported for cooked beef products.’
    • ‘These genes can be manipulated and used to predict meat quality, tenderness, fat contact, milk yield and disease resistance.’
    succulence, juiciness, softness
    View synonyms