noun, plural tendencies.
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.
an inclination, bent, or predisposition to something: a tendency to talk too much.
a special and definite purpose in a novel or other literary work.

1620–30; < Medieval Latin tendentia. See tend1, -ency

countertendency, noun, plural countertendencies.

1. Tendency, direction, trend, drift refer to inclination or line of action or movement. A tendency is an inclination toward a certain line of action (whether or not the action follows), and is often the result of inherent qualities, nature, or habit: a tendency to procrastinate. Direction is the line along which an object or course of action moves, often toward some set point or intended goal: The change is in the direction of improvement. Trend emphasizes simultaneous movement in a certain direction of a number of factors, although the course or goal may not be clear for any single feature: Business indicators showed a downward trend. Drift emphasizes gradual development as well as direction: the drift of his argument. 2. proclivity, leaning.
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
tendency (ˈtɛndənsɪ)
n , pl -cies
1.  (often foll by to) an inclination, predisposition, propensity, or leaning: she 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 party: the militant tendency
[C17: from Medieval Latin tendentia, from Latin tendere to tend1]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

1620s, from M.L. tendentia "inclination, leaning," from L. tendens, prp. of tendere "to stretch, aim" (see tenet).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
And then there is my tendency to garden with plants that are on the edge of
  what my climate will allow.
There is a tendency for people to look at puppetry as a metaphor for
  manipulation, for taking away someone's will or autonomy.
And you will see that this tendency is reflected in our content.
Constant apprehension of war has the tendency to render the head too large for
  the body.
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