tendency

[ ten-duhn-see ]
/ ˈtɛn dən si /

noun, plural ten·den·cies.

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

From the Medieval Latin word tendentia, dating back to 1620–30. See tend1, -ency

Related forms

coun·ter·tend·en·cy, noun, plural coun·ter·tend·en·cies.

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. 2019

Examples from the Web for tendencies

British Dictionary definitions for tendencies

tendency

/ (ˈtɛndənsɪ) /

noun plural -cies

(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 for 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