9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[ten-duh n-see] /ˈtɛn dən si/
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.
Origin of tendency
1620-30; < Medieval Latin tendentia. See tend1, -ency
Related forms
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. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for tendencies
  • Despite the changes, this area has always been known for its artistic tendencies.
  • Aggressive tendencies became one area of interest-a couple of the insects apparently were eaten during the the trip back.
  • The discrepancies make it even more difficult to pinpoint the root causes of such tendencies.
  • Alarmist in tendencies, yes, but it still served its purpose.
  • It is clear he exhibits anti-social tendencies and does not grasp reality.
  • Natural tendencies are either stifled or inspired by the environment.
  • Neither of these tendencies could support co-operation without the other, and the balance between the two is delicate.
  • He is a prodigious writer with an encyclopaedic memory and quixotic tendencies.
  • But this year both those tendencies look as if they have started to change.
  • The government hopes to rein in some of her more headstrong tendencies, but agrees broadly that pragmatism is the way ahead.
British Dictionary definitions for tendencies


noun (pl) -cies
(often foll by to) an inclination, predisposition, propensity, or leaning: she has a tendency to be frivolous, a tendency to frivolity
the general course, purport, or drift of something, esp a written work
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
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for tendencies



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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