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Ultimately from Latin tendere / tendō.


  • IPA(key): /ˈtɛn.dən.si/, enPR: tĕnʹdən-sē
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: ten‧den‧cy


tendency (plural tendencies)

  1. A likelihood of behaving in a particular way or going in a particular direction; a tending toward.
    Denim has a tendency to fade.
    I have a tendency to get bored after the first half an hour of a movie.
    There's a common tendency among first-game visitors to a casino to bet overcautiously.
  2. (politics) An organised unit or faction within a larger political organisation.
    • 1974, James Boggs; Grace Lee Boggs, Revolution and Evolution, NYU Press, →ISBN, page 134:
      Mao launched the struggle against the vulgar materialist tendency within the party as early as 1937.
    • 1997, S. Onslow, Backbench Debate within the Conservative Party and its Influence on British Foreign Policy, 1948-57, Springer, →ISBN, page 234:
      In stark contrast to the Europeanist tendency within the party and the Suez Group, this group had a short history.
    • 2013, Richard Gillespie; Lourdes Lopez Nieto; Michael Waller, Factional Politics and Democratization, Routledge, →ISBN, page 83:
      It reinforced the position of the conformist tendency within the party, since the majority of the candidates were old politicians, many of them members of Papandreou's centre-left CU faction back in the mid-1960s.


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