from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Easily crushed or bruised; fragile: a tender petal.
  • adj. Easily chewed or cut: tender beef.
  • adj. Young and vulnerable: of tender age.
  • adj. Frail; delicate.
  • adj. Sensitive to frost or severe cold; not hardy: tender green shoots.
  • adj. Easily hurt; sensitive: tender skin.
  • adj. Painful; sore: a tender tooth.
  • adj. Considerate and protective; solicitous: a tender mother; his tender concern.
  • adj. Characterized by or expressing gentle emotions; loving: a tender glance; a tender ballad.
  • adj. Given to sympathy or sentimentality; soft: a tender heart.
  • adj. Nautical Likely to heel easily under sail; crank.
  • transitive v. To make tender.
  • transitive v. Archaic To treat with tender regard.
  • n. A formal offer, as:
  • n. Law An offer of money or service in payment of an obligation.
  • n. A written offer to contract goods or services at a specified cost or rate; a bid.
  • n. Something, especially money, offered in payment.
  • transitive v. To offer formally: tender a letter of resignation. See Synonyms at offer.
  • n. One who tends something: a lathe tender.
  • n. Nautical A vessel attendant on other vessels, especially one that ferries supplies between ship and shore.
  • n. A railroad car attached to the rear of a locomotive and designed to carry fuel and water.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Sensitive or painful to be touched.
  • adj. Soft and easily chewed.
  • adj. Fond, loving, gentle, sweet
  • v. To make tender or delicate; to weaken.
  • v. To feel tenderly towards; to regard fondly.
  • n. Someone who tends or waits on someone.
  • n. A railroad car towed behind a steam engine to carry fuel and water.
  • n. A naval ship that functions as a mobile base for other ships.
  • n. A smaller boat used for transportation between a large ship and the shore.
  • v. To offer, to give.
  • v. To offer a payment, as at sales or auctions.
  • n. A means of payment such as a check or cheque, cash or credit card.
  • n. A formal offer to buy or sell something.
  • n. Any offer or proposal made for acceptance.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Easily impressed, broken, bruised, or injured; not firm or hard; delicate.
  • adj. Sensible to impression and pain; easily pained.
  • adj. Physically weak; not hardly or able to endure hardship; immature; effeminate.
  • adj. Susceptible of the softer passions, as love, compassion, kindness; compassionate; pitiful; anxious for another's good; easily excited to pity, forgiveness, or favor; sympathetic.
  • adj. Exciting kind concern; dear; precious.
  • adj. Careful to save inviolate, or not to injure; -- with of.
  • adj. Unwilling to cause pain; gentle; mild.
  • adj. Adapted to excite feeling or sympathy; expressive of the softer passions; pathetic.
  • adj. Apt to give pain; causing grief or pain; delicate.
  • adj. Heeling over too easily when under sail; -- said of a vessel.
  • n. One who tends; one who takes care of any person or thing; a nurse.
  • n. A vessel employed to attend other vessels, to supply them with provisions and other stores, to convey intelligence, or the like.
  • n. A car attached to a locomotive, for carrying a supply of fuel and water.
  • n. An offer, either of money to pay a debt, or of service to be performed, in order to save a penalty or forfeiture, which would be incurred by nonpayment or nonperformance.
  • n. Any offer or proposal made for acceptance
  • n. The thing offered; especially, money offered in payment of an obligation.
  • n. Regard; care; kind concern.
  • transitive v. To offer in payment or satisfaction of a demand, in order to save a penalty or forfeiture.
  • transitive v. To offer in words; to present for acceptance.
  • transitive v. To have a care of; to be tender toward; hence, to regard; to esteem; to value.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Thin; slender; attenuated; fine: literally or figuratively.
  • Of fine or delicate quality; delicate; fine; soft: as, a tender glow of color.
  • Soft; thin; watery.
  • Delicate to the touch, or yielding readily to the action of a cutting instrument or to a blow; not tough or hard; especially, soft and easily masticated: as, tender meat.
  • Soft; impressible; susceptible; sensitive; compassionate; easily touched, affected, or influenced: as, a tender heart.
  • Expressing sensitive feeling; expressing the gentle emotions, as love or pity, especially the former; kindly; loving; affectionate; fond.
  • Delicate in constitution, consistency, texture, etc.; fragile; easily injured, broken, or bruised.
  • Delicate as regards health; weakly.
  • Very sensitive to impression; very susceptible of any sensation or emotion; easily pained.
  • Not strong; not hardy; not able to endure hardship or rough treatment; delicate; weak.
  • Fresh; immature; feeble; young and inexperienced.
  • Precious; dear.
  • Careful; solicitous; considerate; watchful; concerned; unwilling to pain or injure; scrupulous: with of or over.
  • Delicate; ticklish; apt to give pain if inconsiderately or roughly dealt with or referred to; requiring careful handling so as not to annoy or give pain: as, a tender subject.
  • Quick; keen; sharp.
  • Of ships, apt to lean over under sail; tender-sided: same as crank, 1.
  • Yielding to a small force; sensitive.
  • n. A tender regard; fondness; affection; regard.
  • To regard or treat with compassion, solicitude, fondness, or care; cherish; hence, to hold dear; value; esteem.
  • To make tender, in any sense.
  • To offer; make offer of; present for acceptance: as, to tender one a complimentary dinner; to tender one's resignation.
  • To offer in payment or satisfaction of some demand or obligation: as, to tender the (exact) amount of rent due.
  • To show; present to view.
  • To make a tender or offer; especially, to offer to supply certain commodities for a certain period at rates and under conditions specified, or to execute certain work: as, to tender for the dredging of a harbor.
  • n. An offer for acceptance.
  • n. Specifically In law, an offer of money or any other thing in satisfaction of a debt or liability; especially, the production and offer to pay or deliver the very thing requirable by a contract.
  • n. An offer in writing made by one party to another to execute some specified work or to supply certain specified articles at a certain sum or rate, or to purchase something at a specified price.
  • n. Something tendered or offered.
  • n. One who tends; one who attends to, supervises, or takes care of something; a nurse: as, a machine-tender; a bartender.
  • n. Nautical, a vessel employed to attend a larger one for supplying her with provisions and other stores, or to convey intelligence, orders, etc.
  • n. A boat or ship accompanying fishing- or whaling-vessels; a lighter.
  • n. In railroading, a carriage attached to the locomotive, for carrying the fuel, water, etc. See cuts under passenger-engine and snow-plow.
  • n. A small reservoir attached to a mop or scrubber, to hold a supply of water. The flow is controlled by a valve operated by a spring.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. propose a payment
  • adj. easy to cut or chew
  • adj. (used of boats) inclined to heel over easily under sail
  • n. car attached to a locomotive to carry fuel and water
  • adj. having or displaying warmth or affection
  • v. offer or present for acceptance
  • n. a formal proposal to buy at a specified price
  • adj. physically untoughened
  • v. make tender or more tender as by marinating, pounding, or applying a tenderizer
  • v. make a tender of; in legal settlements
  • adj. young and immature
  • n. ship that usually provides supplies to other ships
  • n. someone who waits on or tends to or attends to the needs of another
  • adj. hurting
  • adj. (of plants) not hardy; easily killed by adverse growing condition
  • n. something that can be used as an official medium of payment
  • n. a boat for communication between ship and shore
  • adj. given to sympathy or gentleness or sentimentality


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English, from Old French tendre, from Latin tener; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
From French tendre, to offer, from Old French, from Latin tendere, to hold forth, extend; see ten- in Indo-European roots.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old French tendre, from Latin tener ("soft, delicate").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From tend +‎ -er.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle French tendre ("stretch out").


  • The word that this singer uses is one that only appears in this place, and if we regard its etymology, there lies in it a very tender and beautiful expression of the warmth of the divine love, for it is probably connected with words in an allied language which mean the _bosom_ and a _tender embrace_, and so the picture that we have is of that great divine Lover folding 'the people' to His heart, as a mother might her child, and cherishing them in His bosom.

    Expositions of Holy Scripture Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, and First Book of Samuel, Second Samuel, First Kings, and Second Kings chapters I to VII

  • Seared or grilled, as they are here, the lamb cubes become what he called "tender little morsels."

    Lamb Spiedino

  • ` ` This craven, '' he thought, ` ` will lose the day in pure faintness and cowardice of heart, which he calls tender conscience.

    The Talisman

  • They are what we call tender, you see, and in November they must be bent down close to the ground and covered with earth, or else every cane would be dead from frost by spring.

    Driven Back to Eden

  • I felt my mother’s hand on my shoulder and saw her face reflected in the window, her expression tender as she looked at the baby in my arms, her eyes shining as she kissed me and then the baby’s forehead; her secret face, the one she’s only ever shown to me.

    Certain Girls

  • DELHI: India's Reliance Industries Ltd has awarded its term tender to sell diesel to traders Trafigura, Kuwait's IP. and Africa-focused Galana as it prepares for a surge in supply later this Oil company Reliance Industries is planning to export low sulphur diesel to refinery at Jamnagar comes on stream later this year, P. Raghavendran, the company's refining China will cut diesel exports in May by 40 percent versus April volumes to a four-month low of - Business News

  • Yet in tender restraint, they find a pure connection that will break your heart.

    Fern Siegel: Stage Door: Brief Encounter, The Pitmen Painters

  • “I want to change,” says Sharra, her new skin tender under her scales.

    365 tomorrows » 2010 » January : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

  • They breathed, in tender musings, thro 'the heart;

    Letter 188

  • In practice, though, the ECB has already ensured that the process will be smoothed -- by a six-month tender at the end of March and a special term tender around the end of June.

    Weber Hints On Greek Collateral Crunch Solution


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  • See: request for tenders.

    June 19, 2009

  • A boat for communication between ship and shore.

    November 3, 2007

  • In bookbinding and rare/antique book business, a term used to describe a book whose binding is loosening. Compare to shaken.

    February 22, 2007