See more synonyms for tender on Thesaurus.com
adjective, ten·der·er, ten·der·est.
  1. soft or delicate in substance; not hard or tough: a tender steak.
  2. weak or delicate in constitution; not strong or hardy.
  3. (of plants) unable to withstand freezing temperatures.
  4. young or immature: children of tender age.
  5. delicate or soft in quality: tender blue.
  6. delicate, soft, or gentle: the tender touch of her hand.
  7. easily moved to sympathy or compassion; kind: a tender heart.
  8. affectionate or loving; sentimental or amatory: a tender glance.
  9. considerate or careful; chary or reluctant (usually followed by of).
  10. acutely or painfully sensitive: a tender bruise.
  11. easily distressed; readily made uneasy: a tender conscience.
  12. yielding readily to force or pressure; easily broken; fragile.
  13. of a delicate or ticklish nature; requiring careful or tactful handling: a tender subject.
  14. Nautical. crank2(def 1).
verb (used with object)
  1. to make tender.
  2. Archaic. to regard or treat tenderly.

Origin of tender

1175–1225; Middle English, variant of tendre < Old French < Latin tenerum, accusative of tener tender
Related formsten·der·ly, adverbten·der·ness, nounself-ten·der·ness, nounun·ten·der·ly, adverb
Can be confusedtender tenor tenure
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for tenderer

Historical Examples of tenderer

  • The Bull was still to be enforced, but the Pope's ear was tenderer to the survivors.

  • A man with tenderer nerves than Foyle would have found it a startling journey.

    The Grell Mystery

    Frank Froest

  • Never did one arise from a warmer, a tenderer, or a purer heart.

  • When we are moved, we are more alive; we are stronger, tenderer, nobler.

  • These words seemed to freeze at once all the tenderer emotions of Ursula.


    Edward Bulwer Lytton

British Dictionary definitions for tenderer


  1. easily broken, cut, or crushed; soft; not tougha tender steak
  2. easily damaged; vulnerable or sensitivea tender youth; at a tender age
  3. having or expressing warm and affectionate feelingsa tender smile
  4. kind, merciful, or sympathetica tender heart
  5. arousing warm feelings; touchinga tender memory
  6. gentle and delicatea tender breeze
  7. requiring care in handling; ticklisha tender question
  8. painful or sorea tender wound
  9. sensitive to moral or spiritual feelingsa tender conscience
  10. (postpositive foll by of) careful or protectivetender of one's emotions
  11. (of a sailing vessel) easily keeled over by a wind; crankCompare stiff (def. 10)
  1. (tr) rare
    1. to make tender
    2. to treat tenderly
Derived Formstenderly, adverbtenderness, noun

Word Origin for tender

C13: from Old French tendre, from Latin tener delicate


  1. (tr) to give, present, or offerto tender one's resignation; tender a bid
  2. (intr foll by for) to make a formal offer or estimate for (a job or contract)
  3. (tr) law to offer (money or goods) in settlement of a debt or claim
  1. the act or an instance of tendering; offer
  2. commerce a formal offer to supply specified goods or services at a stated cost or rate
  3. something, esp money, used as an official medium of paymentlegal tender
Derived Formstenderable, adjectivetenderer, noun

Word Origin for tender

C16: from Anglo-French tendre, from Latin tendere to extend; see tend 1


  1. a small boat, such as a dinghy, towed or carried by a yacht or ship
  2. a vehicle drawn behind a steam locomotive to carry the fuel and water
  3. an ancillary vehicle used to carry supplies, spare parts, etc, for a mobile operation, such as an outside broadcast
  4. a person who tends

Word Origin for tender

C15: variant of attender
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 tenderer



"soft, easily injured," early 13c., from Old French tendre "soft, delicate, tender" (11c.), from Latin tenerem (nominative tener) "soft, delicate, of tender age," from PIE *ten- "stretch" (see tenet). Meaning "kind, affectionate, loving" first recorded c.1300. Meaning "having the delicacy of youth, immature" is attested from early 14c. Tender-hearted first recorded 1530s.



"to offer formally," 1540s, from Middle French tendre "to offer, hold forth" (11c.), from Latin tendere "to stretch, extend" (see tenet). The retention of the ending of the French infinitive is unusual. The noun meaning "formal offer" is from 1540s; specific sense of "money that may be legally offered as payment" is from 1740.



"person who tends another," late 15c., probably an agent noun formed from Middle English tenden "attend to" (see tend (2)); later extended to locomotive engineers (1825) and barmen (1883). The meaning "small boat used to attend larger ones" first recorded 1670s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

tenderer in Medicine


  1. Easily crushed or bruised; fragile.
  2. Easily hurt; sensitive.
  3. Painful; sore.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

Idioms and Phrases with tenderer


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.