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From un- +‎ tender.


untender (comparative more untender, superlative most untender)

  1. Not soft; harsh.
  2. Lacking sympathy, heartless, not empathetic.
    • c.1603-1606, The Tragedy of King Lear, Act 1, Scene 1,
      Cordelia: Good my lord, / You have begot me, bred me, lov'd me: I / Return those duties back as are right fit, / Obey you, love you, and most honour you. / Why have my sisters husbands if they say / They love you all? Haply, when I shall wed, / That lord whose hand must take my plight shall carry / Half my love with him, half my care and duty: / Sure I shall never marry like my sisters, To love my father all.
      Lear: But goes thy heart with this?
      Cordelia: Ay, good my lord.
      Lear: So young, and so untender?
      Cordelia: So young, my lord, and true.
    • 1856, Elizabeth Barrett Browning, Aurora Leigh, Fourth Book,
      I had not been ungenerous on the whole, / Nor yet untender;
    • 1858 May 29, William Chambers, Robert Chambers (editors), Our Lost Pet, in Chamber's Journal of Popular Literature, Science and Arts, page 337,
      He was the first-born of his mother, but in nowise like her—she being the ugliest, stupidest, and most untender of feline animals. Her very kittens she would carry into damp corners, and under grates, and there forsake them, to be trampled to death or shovelled unwittingly on the back of the fire : [] .
    • a. 1874, Henry James, Master Eustace, in 1999, Complete Stories,1864-1874, page 656,
      Her parents had frowned on him and forced her into a marriage with poor dissolute Mr. Garnyer — a course the more untender as he had already spent half his own property and was likely to make sad havoc with his wife's.
    • 2006, James E. McNabney, Born in Brotherhood, page 22,
      She would let me know in a most untender manner if Brother Fielding told her I wasn't proficient.