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 Dictionary entry overview: What does tendency mean? 

  The noun TENDENCY has 4 senses:

1. an attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others
2. an inclination to do something
3. a characteristic likelihood of or natural disposition toward a certain condition or character or effect
4. a general direction in which something tends to move

  Familiarity information: TENDENCY used as a noun is uncommon.

 Dictionary entry details 


Sense 1tendency [BACK TO TOP]


An attitude of mind especially one that favors one alternative over others

Classified under:

Nouns denoting cognitive processes and contents


inclination; tendency; disposition

Context examples:

he had an inclination to give up too easily / a tendency to be too strict

Hypernyms ("tendency" is a kind of...):

attitude; mental attitude (a complex mental state involving beliefs and feelings and values and dispositions to act in certain ways)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "tendency"):

literalism (a disposition to interpret statements in their literal sense)

perseveration (the tendency for a memory or idea to persist or recur without any apparent stimulus for it)

predisposition (an inclination beforehand to interpret statements in a particular way)

favor; favour (an inclination to approve)

disapproval; disfavor; disfavour; dislike (an inclination to withhold approval from some person or group)

partiality; partisanship (an inclination to favor one group or view or opinion over alternatives)

bent; set (a relatively permanent inclination to react in a particular way)

leaning; proclivity; propensity (a natural inclination)

favoritism; favouritism (an inclination to favor some person or group)

sympathy; understanding (an inclination to support or be loyal to or to agree with an opinion)

devices (an inclination or desire; used in the plural in the phrase 'left to your own devices')

denominationalism (the tendency, in Protestantism, to separate into religious denominations or to advocate such separations)

Call (a special disposition (as if from a divine source) to pursue a particular course)

drift; movement; trend (a general tendency to change (as of opinion))

direction (a general course along which something has a tendency to develop)

impartiality; nonpartisanship (an inclination to weigh both views or opinions equally)

Sense 2tendency [BACK TO TOP]


An inclination to do something

Classified under:

Nouns denoting feelings and emotions


propensity; leaning; tendency

Context example:

he felt leanings toward frivolity

Hypernyms ("tendency" is a kind of...):

inclination (that toward which you are inclined to feel a liking)

Sense 3tendency [BACK TO TOP]


A characteristic likelihood of or natural disposition toward a certain condition or character or effect

Classified under:

Nouns denoting attributes of people and objects


tendency; inclination

Context examples:

the alkaline inclination of the local waters / fabric with a tendency to shrink

Hypernyms ("tendency" is a kind of...):

disposition (a natural or acquired habit or characteristic tendency in a person or thing)

Hyponyms (each of the following is a kind of "tendency"):

buoyancy (the tendency to float in water or other liquid)

electronegativity; negativity ((chemistry) the tendency of an atom or radical to attract electrons in the formation of an ionic bond)

stainability ((cytology) the capacity of cells or cell parts to stain specifically with certain dyes)

desire (an inclination to want things)

Sense 4tendency [BACK TO TOP]


A general direction in which something tends to move

Classified under:

Nouns denoting spatial position


trend; tendency

Context examples:

the shoreward tendency of the current / the trend of the stock market

Hypernyms ("tendency" is a kind of...):

direction; way (a line leading to a place or point)

 Learn English with... Proverbs of the week 
"Nothing succeeds like success." (English proverb)

"The arrow of the accomplished master will not be seen when it is released; only when it hits the target." (Bhutanese proverb)

"Do good to people in order to enslave their hearts." (Arabic proverb)

"Eat a big bite but don't say a big statement." (Cypriot proverb)

 TENDENCY: related words searches 

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