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tender +‎ -ness



tenderness (countable and uncountable, plural tendernesses)

  1. a tendency to express warm, compassionate feelings
    When the lovers were together, their cold indifference gave way to love and tenderness.
    • 1853, Charlotte Brontë, Villette
      I had known him jealous, suspicious; I had seen about him certain tendernesses, fitfulnesses—a softness which came like a warm air, and a ruth which passed like early dew, dried in the heat of his irritabilities: this was all I had seen.
  2. concern for the feelings or welfare of others
    When they saw the poor orphans, they were overwhelmed with tenderness for them.
  3. pain or discomfort when an affected area is touched
    He noted her extreme tenderness when he touched the bruise on her thigh.