- 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
1. Tendency, direction, trend, drift refer to inclination or line of action or movement. A tendency is an inclination toward a certain line of action (whether or not the action follows), and is often the result of inherent qualities, nature, or habit: a tendency to procrastinate. Direction is the line along which an object or course of action moves, often toward some set point or intended goal: The change is in the direction of improvement. Trend emphasizes simultaneous movement in a certain direction of a number of factors, although the course or goal may not be clear for any single feature: Business indicators showed a downward trend. Drift emphasizes gradual development as well as direction: the drift of his argument.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for counter-tendency
- (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
C17: from Medieval Latin tendentia, from Latin tendere to tend 1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for counter-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.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper