"soft, easily injured," early 13c., from O.Fr. tendre
"soft, delicate, tender" (11c.), from L. tenerem
) "soft, delicate, of tender age," from PIE *ten-
"stretch" (see tenet
). Meaning "kind, affectionate, loving" first recorded c.1300. Meaning "having the delicacy of youth, immature" is attested from early 14c. Tender-hearted
first recorded 1530s. The verb tenderize
is attested from 1733; specifically of food, recorded by 1935, originally Amer.Eng.; tenderizer
is recorded from 1958.