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tendency

[ten-duhn-see]
noun, plural ten·den·cies.
  1. 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.
  2. an inclination, bent, or predisposition to something: a tendency to talk too much.
  3. a special and definite purpose in a novel or other literary work.
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Origin of tendency

From the Medieval Latin word tendentia, dating back to 1620–30. See tend1, -ency
Related formscoun·ter·tend·en·cy, noun, plural coun·ter·tend·en·cies.

Synonyms

Synonym study

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

Historical Examples

  • Is there any counter-tendency that limits self-assertion and holds it in check?

    Psychology

    Robert S. Woodworth

  • This counter-tendency is to be found only in the case of man.


British Dictionary definitions for counter-tendency

tendency

noun plural -cies
  1. (often foll by to) an inclination, predisposition, propensity, or leaningshe has a tendency to be frivolous; a tendency to frivolity
  2. the general course, purport, or drift of something, esp a written work
  3. a faction, esp one within a political partythe militant tendency
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Word Origin

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

tendency

n.

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.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper