There are 2 main definitions of tend in English:

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tend 1

Line breaks: tend


[no object, with infinitive]
1Regularly or frequently behave in a particular way or have a certain characteristic: written language tends to be formal her hair tended to come loose
More example sentences
  • People tended not to save email messages.
  • We tend not to reapply sun cream frequently enough.
  • The primary carer tends frequently to be the mother and therefore the law favours the mother.
be inclined, be apt, be disposed, be prone, be liable, have/show a tendency, be likely, have a propensity
1.1 [no object] (tend to/towards) Be liable to possess or display (a particular characteristic): Walter tended towards corpulence
More example sentences
  • Too many of the characterizations tend towards the stereotypical.
  • His other stories tend towards an intentional fuzziness.
  • The script tends towards melodrama.
incline, lean, swing, veer, gravitate, be drawn, move;
show a preference for, be biased;
North American  trend
1.2 [no object, with adverbial] Go or move in a particular direction: fire is hot and tends upwards
More example sentences
  • The arguments always tend in the same direction.
  • Alan winced at the direction in which his thoughts were tending.
  • Who controls events, and in which direction do they tend?
1.3 [no object] (tend to) Mathematics (Of a variable) approach a given quantity as a limit: the orbit tends to infinity
More example sentences
  • The requirements of perfect competition are that there must be very large, tending to infinite, numbers of producers and of consumers.
  • As time tends to infinity both the variance and the total number tends to zero.


Middle English (in the sense 'move or be inclined to move in a certain direction'): from Old French tendre 'stretch, tend', from Latin tendere.

Words that rhyme with tend

amend, append, apprehend, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, contend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, forfend, friend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, suspend, tail end, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend
Definition of tend in:
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There are 2 main definitions of tend in English:

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tend 2 Line breaks: tend


[with object]
1Care for or look after; give one’s attention to: Varela tended plants on the roof [no object]: ambulance crews were tending to the injured
More example sentences
  • She took a keen interest in flowers and plants, tending them with great care and fondness.
  • The man next door tends his weeds with care.
  • Caring for livestock or tending the land seems an idyllic lifestyle.
look after, take care of, care for, minister to, attend to, see to, wait on, cater to;
watch over, keep an eye on, mind, protect, watch, guard;
nurse, nurture, cherish;
maintain, cultivate, keep, manage
1.1US Direct or manage; work in: I’ve been tending bar at the airport lounge
More example sentences
  • She manages a restaurant downtown and tends bar once a week.
  • The two met a decade ago when he was tending bar.
  • He still spends his days tending bar, surrounded by smokers.
1.2 archaic Wait on as an attendant or servant: the man that tended the carpenter [no object]: Enid tended on him there
More example sentences
  • The suicide bombers believe that a place in paradise awaited him, 70 virgins waiting to tend their every need.
  • I will be able to tend upon you regularly for the next week but after that my time will be divided.


noun ( archaic)
Example sentences
  • The plants are safely in the ground now where I will let nature take its course rather than watch them wither in their pots under my tendance.


Middle English: shortening of attend.

Definition of tend in:
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