Meaning of “tend” in the English Dictionary

"tend" in British English

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uk /tend/ us /tend/

tend verb (BE LIKELY)

B2 [ I ] to be likely to behave in a particular way or have a particular characteristic:

[ + to infinitive ] We tend to get cold winters and warm, dry summers in this part of the country.

More examples

  • I think you tend to eat more in the winter.
  • Children tend to get unsettled if you keep on changing their routine.
  • Paintwork on the corner of a stairway tends to get nicked and scratched.
  • The British traditionally tend not to display much emotion in public.
  • Things tend to get lost when you move house.

Phrasal verb(s)

(Definition of “tend” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"tend" in American English

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us /tend/

tend verb (BE LIKELY)

[ I ] to be likely to happen or to have a particular characteristic or effect:

We tend to eat at home.
Children tend to be like their parents.

tend verb (CARE)

[ T ] to care for something or someone:

He carefully tends his garden all summer.

(Definition of “tend” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)