- a natural or prevailing disposition to move, proceed, or act in some direction or toward some point, end, or result: the tendency of falling bodies toward the earth.
- an inclination, bent, or predisposition to something: a tendency to talk too much.
- a special and definite purpose in a novel or other literary work.
Origin of tendency
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tendency
They either have a tendency to hyperbolize and make life much more glamorous and titillating than it is, or the other way.Coffee Talk with Ethan Hawke: On ‘Boyhood,’ Jennifer Lawrence, and Bill Clinton’s Urinal Exchange
December 27, 2014
But I do think if you look at history and you do believe that history has a tendency to do what?Pro-Palestinian Group Lectured On Skirting Terror Laws
December 5, 2014
In New York, district attorneys have a tendency to grow moss-bound in their roles.Meet Dan Donovan, the Prosecutor Who Let Eric Garner’s Killer Walk
December 5, 2014
Despite his tendency to speak frankly on political issues, he insists that neither he nor his group are politically active.Welcome to Assadville, USA
November 11, 2014
The Lizzie Borden Bed & Breakfast has a tendency to lose its guests in the middle of the night.Would You Stay in Lizzie Borden’s Ax-Murder House?
October 30, 2014
I freely say that the tendency of my thought, based on observation, is to conservatism.'Tis Sixty Years Since
Charles Francis Adams
This tendency is in every one of us; but in some of us more than in others.The Conquest of Fear
That Hester had a tendency to high church had little or nothing to do with the matter.Weighed and Wanting
He was sorry to see this tendency to aristocracy on the part of members.
Now the tendency in France seems to be to go back to the monoplane.Flying Machines
W.J. Jackman and Thos. H. Russell
- (often foll by to) an inclination, predisposition, propensity, or leaningshe has a tendency to be frivolous; a tendency to frivolity
- the general course, purport, or drift of something, esp a written work
- a faction, esp one within a political partythe militant tendency
Word Origin and History for tendency
1620s, from Medieval Latin tendentia "inclination, leaning," from Latin tendens, present participle of tendere "to stretch, aim" (see tenet). Earlier in same sense was tendaunce (mid-15c.), from Old French tendance.