From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Groupings
tendencyten‧den‧cy /ˈtendənsi/ ●●○ S3 W3 noun (plural tendencies) [countable] 1 PROBABLYif someone or something has a tendency to do or become a particular thing, they are likely to do or become ita tendency to do something Greg’s tendency to be critical made him unpopular with his co-workers. The drug is effective but has a tendency to cause headaches.tendency to/towards Some people may inherit a tendency to alcoholism.tendency for Researchers believe that the tendency for diabetes is present at birth.2 IN GENERALa general change or development in a particular directionthere is a tendency (for somebody) to do something There is an increasing tendency for women to have children later in life.tendency to/towards a general tendency towards conservation and recyclingtendency among a tendency among Americans to get married at a later age3 aggressive/suicidal/criminal/artistic etc tendencies4 PPGa group within a larger political group that supports ideas that are usually more extreme than those of the main group the growing fascist tendencyGRAMMAR: Singular or plural verb?In this meaning, tendency is usually followed by a singular verb: The extremist tendency is becoming more powerful.In British English, you can also use a plural verb: The extremist tendency are becoming more powerful.COLLOCATIONSMeanings 1 & 3adjectivesa natural tendency (=one you are born with)His recent experiences had reinforced a strong natural tendency towards caution.an inherent/innate tendency (=one that you are born with, which will not change)When attacked, some people have an inherent tendency to fight back.a strong tendencyThere is a strong tendency to give dying patients far more drugs than are necessary.a marked tendency (=noticeable)There is a marked tendency for Hollywood marriages to end in divorce.aggressive/violent tendenciesSome breeds of dog have aggressive tendencies.suicidal tendenciesThey failed to inform the prison authorities of the man's suicidal tendencies.criminal tendenciesHow should we deal with young people who have criminal tendencies?artistic tendenciesAs he grew up, he displayed artistic tendencies.
Examples from the Corpus
tendencyThere is a tendency for illnesses to become more prolonged, less intense and for the recovery to be slower.The arrow represents a plausible evolutionary tendency of adaptability.Can you discern an editorial leaning or tendency in the work they accept?It's then that you realise he keeps his psychotic tendencies hidden, only to be let out onstage.Her speech is badly slurred, and the tendency is to dismiss her as a drunk or a druggie.Class Status derives from the tendency of people to accord positive and negative values to human attributes and to distribute respect accordingly.Second, there is the tendency to hasten all those final writing chores, and this is a mistake.tendency forA teenager's tendency for acne problems could be genetic.tendency to/towardsThe record shows a tendency to make a couple of kinds of particularly costly mistakes.This was very difficult to do and there was a tendency to place the y-intercept at the origin.I said I thought there was a tendency to do this.Her tendency to do so declines, however, as she gets bored with the song.None had relished Eden's tendency to transmit his own nervousness to colleagues.His love of stories was connected to this same tendency to see everything in human terms.There is some tendency to assume that in Washington, too, budget-making is largely an executive function.There has been a traditional tendency to expect just that.
Origin tendency (1600-1700) Medieval Latin tendentia, from Latin tendere; TEND