The definition of a tendency is an inclination towards a certain action or behavior.
An example of a tendency is when you usually are very neat and tidy.
- an inclination to move or act in a particular direction or way; constant disposition to some action or state; leaning; bias; propensity; bent
- a course or apparent course toward some purpose, object, or result; drift
- a definite purpose or point of view in something said or written
Origin of tendencyMedieval Latin tendentia from Classical Latin tendens, present participle of tendere, to tend
- a. A characteristic likelihood: fabric that has a tendency to wrinkle.b. A predisposition to think, act, or proceed in a particular way: his tendency to exaggerate.c. A characteristic pattern or point of view: the book's tendency to oversimplify events.
- Movement or prevailing movement in a given direction: observed the tendency of the wind; the shoreward tendency of the current.
Origin of tendencyMedieval Latin tendentia from Latin tendēns tendent- present participle of tendere to tend ; see tend1.
tendency trend current drift tenor inclination
These nouns refer to the direction or course of an action or thought. Tendency implies a predisposition to proceed in a particular way: “The tendency of our own day is … towards firm, solid, verifiable knowledge” (William H. Mallock). Trend often applies to a general or prevailing direction, especially within a particular sphere: “the trend of religious thought in recent times” (James Harvey Robinson). Current suggests a course or flow, as of opinion, especially one representative of a given time or place: “the whole current of modern feeling” (James Bryce). A drift is a tendency that seems driven by a shifting current: a drift toward communism in Latin America. Tenor implies a continuous, unwavering course: “His conduct was … uniform and unvarying in its tenor” (Frederick Marryat). Inclination usually refers to an individual's propensity for or disposition toward one thing rather than another: an inclination to overindulge in sweets.
Ultimately from the Latin tendere / tendÅ.