Definition of tendency noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈtendənsi//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈtendənsi//
    (pl. tendencies)
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  1. 1  [countable] if somebody/something has a particular tendency, they are likely to behave or act in a particular way to display artistic, etc. tendencies tendency (for somebody/something) (to do something) I have a tendency to talk too much when I'm nervous. There is a tendency for this disease to run in families. This material has a tendency to shrink when washed. tendency (to/towards something) She has a strong natural tendency towards caution.
  2. 2  [countable] tendency (for somebody/something) (to do something) | tendency (to/towards something) a new custom that is starting to develop synonym trend There is a growing tendency among employers to hire casual staff.
  3. 3[countable + singular or plural verb] (British English) a group within a larger political group, whose views are more extreme than those of the rest of the group the militant tendency
  4. Word Originearly 17th cent.: from medieval Latin tendentia, from tendere ‘to stretch’.Extra examples Industry showed a tendency towards increasingly centralized administration. The civil war reinforced the centrifugal tendencies at work within the economy. The later model has an unfortunate tendency to collapse after a few weeks’ use. The tendency on the part of the children is to blame their parents for everything. There is a tendency for farm sizes to increase. There’s a growing tendency for women to marry later. a worrying tendency among the abused to become abusers our natural human tendency to group all the things we don’t like together Several patients admitted to suicidal tendencies. The natural tendency is to try harder when there are problems with a project. The training courses aim to reduce the tendency for young people to leave the industry. There is a growing tendency among employers to hire casual workers. There is a tendency for group leaders to interfere too much. They have a tendency towards over-optimism. We have a tendency to blame ourselves when things go wrong.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: tendency

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