- 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 for tendency on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for tendencies
There was a chance that he could have been arrested as well for his Jacobin tendencies.Napoleon Was a Dynamite Dictator
November 7, 2014
The large-scale structure of the Universe is the result of a conflict between two tendencies.Laniakea: The Milky Way’s Place in the Heavens
Matthew R. Francis
September 7, 2014
Since the 1967 war, he thought these tendencies could coexist and propel him.Understanding John Kerry's Logic
July 22, 2013
As long as we have baby-boomer nostalgia and Internet gossip, the tendencies to idolize or vandalize will be indulged.Why This Is Baseball’s Golden Age
Michael Brendan Dougherty
April 1, 2013
And if you want to see these tendencies (or hypothesized tendencies) at their worst, just look at our political media environment.Why Pundits Keep Making (Often Wrong) Presidential Predictions
August 16, 2012
Of all disagreeable men, a man with his tendencies is the most disagreeable.
The queen-dowager's French tendencies were more than suspected.
Two tendencies seem to have beset the interpreters of Plato in this matter.Gorgias
In like manner, nature is already, in its forms and tendencies, describing its own design.Nature
Ralph Waldo Emerson
These figures also must be taken as merely indicating the tendencies of the times.Herbert Hoover
- (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 tendencies
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.