noun, plural ten·den·cies.

  1. a natural or prevailing disposition to move, proceed, or act in some direction or toward some point, end, or result: the tendency of falling bodies toward the earth.
  2. an inclination, bent, or predisposition to something: a tendency to talk too much.
  3. a special and definite purpose in a novel or other literary work.

noun plural -cies

  1. (often foll by to) an inclination, predisposition, propensity, or leaningshe has a tendency to be frivolous; a tendency to frivolity
  2. the general course, purport, or drift of something, esp a written work
  3. a faction, esp one within a political partythe militant tendency

n.1620s, from Medieval Latin tendentia “inclination, leaning,” from Latin tendens, present participle of tendere “to stretch, aim” (see tenet). Earlier in same sense was tendaunce (mid-15c.), from Old French tendance.

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