soft or delicate in substance; not hard or tough: a tender steak.
weak or delicate in constitution; not strong or hardy.
(of plants) unable to withstand freezing temperatures.
young or immature: children of tender age.
delicate or soft in quality: tender blue.
delicate, soft, or gentle: the tender touch of her hand.
easily moved to sympathy or compassion; kind: a tender heart.
affectionate or loving; sentimental or amatory: a tender glance.
acutely or painfully sensitive: a tender bruise.
easily distressed; readily made uneasy: a tender conscience.
yielding readily to force or pressure; easily broken; fragile: These roofing shingles are too old and tender.
of a delicate or ticklish nature; requiring careful or tactful handling: a tender subject.
considerate or careful; wary or reluctant (usually followed by of): He was tender of imposing his views on others.
Nautical. crank2 (def. 1).
Usually ten·ders .
a strip of chicken meat loosely attached to the underside of each breast half, along the breastbone.
a boneless and skinless strip of chicken cut from the breast or thigh.
to make tender: He tendered the meat in his special marinade before throwing it on the grill.
Archaic. to regard or treat tenderly.
- ten·der·ly, adverb
- ten·der·ness, noun
- self-ten·der·ness, noun
Other definitions for tender (2 of 3)
to present formally for acceptance; make formal offer of: to tender one's resignation.
to offer or proffer.
Law. to offer, as money or goods, in payment of a debt or other obligation, especially in exact accordance with the terms of the law and of the obligation.
to make or submit a bid (often followed by for).
the act of tendering; an offer of something for acceptance.
something tendered or offered, especially money, as in payment.
Commerce. an offer made in writing by one party to another to execute certain work, supply certain commodities, etc., at a given cost; bid.
Law. an offer, as of money or goods, in payment or satisfaction of a debt or other obligation.
- ten·der·er, noun
Other definitions for tender (3 of 3)
a person who tends; a person who attends to or takes charge of someone or something.
an auxiliary ship employed to attend one or more other ships, as for supplying provisions.
a dinghy carried or towed by a yacht.
Railroads. a car attached to a steam locomotive for carrying fuel and water.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023
How to use tender in a sentence
If the team tenders Allen by March 17, his one-year salary would be $850,000.Quarterback Taylor Heinicke signs two-year contract to return to Washington Football Team | Sam Fortier | February 10, 2021 | Washington Post
Toubia said the company will even be able to adapt the steak to a specific country or palate, for instance, making it more or less tender, according to a consumer’s taste.Raising the steaks: First 3-D-printed rib-eye is unveiled | Laura Reiley | February 9, 2021 | Washington Post
It may not be a sharp, dazzling Tully, but sometimes a tender, unpretentious Kate makes better company anyway.Netflix's Undeniably Cheesy Gal-Pal Drama Firefly Lane Pairs Well With a Glass of Wine | Judy Berman | February 3, 2021 | Time
Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes.Trinidad-style aloo and channa infuses an Indian classic with Caribbean flavor | Brigid Washington | January 22, 2021 | Washington Post
Reduce the heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the chicken is cooked through and the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes.Hearty winter vegetables are at the root of this red wine chicken stew | Ellie Krieger | January 21, 2021 | Washington Post
According to Swiss press reports, younger cats in the litter are the most tender and, as such, are the preferred cat cuts.Will the Swiss Quit Cooking their Kittens and Puppies? | Barbie Latza Nadeau | November 30, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
She became an international sensation at the tender age of two—before she even started pre-school—for her abstract works of art.
Not surprisingly, a construction company in his region has already submitted a tender to build the project.
This is why she need [sic] more tender loving care than the strong ones.Gabby Giffords and the Problem with ‘Inspiration Porn’ | Elizabeth Heideman | September 24, 2014 | THE DAILY BEAST
Always spare, often forceful, Ryan Adams alternates tough pop songs with tender, unsparing ballads.
I cannot reconcile the idea of a tender Heavenly Father with the known horrors of war, slavery, pestilence, and insanity.God and my Neighbour | Robert Blatchford
The Café tender was asleep in his chair; the porter had gone off; the sentinel alone kept awake on his post.Glances at Europe | Horace Greeley
But she kept the same tone, and its tender archness only gave a greater sweetness to his sense of relief.Confidence | Henry James
She spoke with such a serious, tender grace, that Gordon seemed stirred to his depths again.Confidence | Henry James
For Lettice—the tender woman of his first acquaintance—had obviously experienced a moment of reaction.The Wave | Algernon Blackwood
British Dictionary definitions for tender (1 of 3)
easily broken, cut, or crushed; soft; not tough: a tender steak
easily damaged; vulnerable or sensitive: a tender youth; at a tender age
having or expressing warm and affectionate feelings: a tender smile
kind, merciful, or sympathetic: a tender heart
arousing warm feelings; touching: a tender memory
gentle and delicate: a tender breeze
requiring care in handling; ticklish: a tender question
painful or sore: a tender wound
sensitive to moral or spiritual feelings: a tender conscience
(postpositive foll by of) careful or protective: tender of one's emotions
(of a sailing vessel) easily keeled over by a wind; crank: Compare stiff (def. 10)
to make tender
to treat tenderly
- tenderly, adverb
- tenderness, noun
British Dictionary definitions for tender (2 of 3)
(tr) to give, present, or offer: to tender one's resignation; tender a bid
(intr foll by for) to make a formal offer or estimate for (a job or contract)
(tr) law to offer (money or goods) in settlement of a debt or claim
the act or an instance of tendering; offer
commerce a formal offer to supply specified goods or services at a stated cost or rate
something, esp money, used as an official medium of payment: legal tender
- tenderable, adjective
- tenderer, noun
British Dictionary definitions for tender (3 of 3)
a small boat, such as a dinghy, towed or carried by a yacht or ship
a vehicle drawn behind a steam locomotive to carry the fuel and water
an ancillary vehicle used to carry supplies, spare parts, etc, for a mobile operation, such as an outside broadcast
a person who tends
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
Other Idioms and Phrases with tender
see leave to someone's tender mercies.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.