Definition of tendency in English:


Line breaks: ten|dency
Pronunciation: /ˈtɛnd(ə)nsi

noun (plural tendencies)

[often with infinitive]
1An inclination towards a particular characteristic or type of behaviour: for students, there is a tendency to socialize in the evenings criminal tendencies
More example sentences
  • The human race has a pervasive tendency towards religious conviction.
  • I have a tendency to scratch vigorously behind my right knee when distracted.
  • He has a tendency to be ruthless when he has tired of a girlfriend.
1.1A group within a larger political party or movement.
More example sentences
  • Other tendencies or parties will prevail and hold the movement back.
  • Two political tendencies emerged during this period of rampant anti-Semitism.
  • These political tendencies are expected to register gains in the coming election.


early 17th century: from medieval Latin tendentia, from tendere 'to stretch' (see tend1).

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