tend

1
[tend]

verb (used without object)

to be disposed or inclined in action, operation, or effect to do something: The particles tend to unite.
to be disposed toward an idea, emotion, way of thinking, etc.: He tends to be overly optimistic. Her religious philosophy tends toward pantheism.
to lead or conduce, as to some result or resulting condition: measures tending to improved working conditions; Governments are tending toward democracy.
to be inclined to or have a tendency toward a particular quality, state, or degree: This wine tends toward the sweet side.
(of a journey, course, road, etc.) to lead or be directed in a particular direction (usually followed by to, toward, etc.): a path tending toward the beach.

Origin of tend

1
1300–50; Middle English tenden < Middle French tendre < Latin tendere to stretch, extend, proceed

tend

2
[tend]

verb (used with object)

to attend to by work or services, care, etc.: to tend a fire.
to look after; watch over and care for; minister to or wait on with service: to tend the sick.
Nautical. to handle or attend to (a rope).

verb (used without object)

to attend by action, care, etc. (usually followed by to).

Verb Phrases

tend on/upon, Archaic. to attend or wait upon; minister to; serve: She tended on the sick and dying with infinite compassion.

Origin of tend

2
1300–50; Middle English tenden, aphetic variant of attend
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019


Examples from the Web for tending

Contemporary Examples of tending

Historical Examples of tending

  • Thus manifestly a negligible factor, it is also one tending to extinction.

    'Tis Sixty Years Since

    Charles Francis Adams

  • One of these fellows, as it chanced, was their own guide, who had come in from tending the mules.

    Fair Margaret

    H. Rider Haggard

  • The proceedings began with some animated discussion, all tending one way.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • This she had abundantly shown, but now, in her tending of the sick gentleman.

  • And outside he went, like a king, with all Sierra Vista about him and tending on him.

    White Fang

    Jack London


British Dictionary definitions for tending

tend

1

verb (when intr, usually foll by to or towards)

(when tr, takes an infinitive) to have a general disposition (to do something); be inclinedchildren tend to prefer sweets to meat
(intr) to have or be an influence (towards a specific result); be conducivethe party atmosphere tends to hilarity
(intr) to go or move (in a particular direction)to tend to the south

Word Origin for tend

C14: from Old French tendre, from Latin tendere to stretch

tend

2

verb

(tr) to care forto tend wounded soldiers
(when intr, often foll by to) to attend (to)to tend to someone's needs
(tr) to handle or controlto tend a fire
(intr often foll by to) informal, mainly US and Canadian to pay attention

Word Origin for tend

C14: variant of attend
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 tending

tend

v.1

"to incline, to move in a certain direction," mid-14c., from Old French tendre "stretch, hold forth, offer" (11c.), from Latin tendere "to aim, stretch, extend" (see tenet).

tend

v.2

"attend to," early 14c., a shortening of Middle English atenden (see attend).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper