noun ten·den·cy \ˈten-dən(t)-sē\

: a quality that makes something likely to happen or that makes someone likely to think or behave in a particular way

: a way of behaving, proceeding, etc., that is developing and becoming more common

plural ten·den·cies

Full Definition of TENDENCY

a :  direction or approach toward a place, object, effect, or limit
b :  a proneness to a particular kind of thought or action
a :  the purposeful trend of something written or said :  aim
b :  deliberate but indirect advocacy

Origin of TENDENCY

Medieval Latin tendentia, from Latin tendent-, tendens, present participle of tendere
First Known Use: 1628

Synonym Discussion of TENDENCY

tendency, trend, drift, tenor, current mean movement in a particular direction. tendency implies an inclination sometimes amounting to an impelling force <a general tendency toward inflation>. trend applies to the general direction maintained by a winding or irregular course <the long-term trend of the stock market is upward>. drift may apply to a tendency determined by external forces <the drift of the population away from large cities> or it may apply to an underlying or obscure trend of meaning or discourse <got the drift of her argument>. tenor stresses a clearly perceptible direction and a continuous, undeviating course <the tenor of the times>. current implies a clearly defined but not necessarily unalterable course <an encounter that changed the current of my life>.
TENDENCY Defined for Kids


noun ten·den·cy \ˈten-dən-sē\
plural ten·den·cies

Definition of TENDENCY for Kids

:  a leaning toward a particular kind of thought or action <Elizabeth had a tendency to worry about things like not having permission. — Zilpha Keatley Snyder, The Egypt Game>
:  a way of doing something that is becoming more common :  trend


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