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tendency

[ten-duh n-see] /ˈtɛn dən si/
noun, plural tendencies.
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.
Origin
1620-1630
1620-30; < Medieval Latin tendentia. See tend1, -ency
Related forms
countertendency, noun, plural countertendencies.
Synonyms
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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for counter-tendency

tendency

/ˈtɛndənsɪ/
noun (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
Word Origin
C17: from Medieval Latin tendentia, from Latin tendere to tend1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for counter-tendency

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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