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Alternative forms[edit]


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.
    Everybody needs a little tenderness sometimes.
  3. pain or discomfort when an affected area is touched
    He noted her extreme tenderness when he touched the bruise on her thigh.

Derived terms[edit]