1. Easily impressed, broken, bruised, or injured; not firm or hard; delicate; as, tender plants; tender flesh; tender fruit.

2. Sensible to impression and pain; easily pained. "Our bodies are not naturally more tender than our faces." (L'Estrange)

3. Physically weak; not hardly or able to endure hardship; immature; effeminate. "The tender and delicate woman among you." (Deut. Xxviii. 56)

4. Susceptible of the softer passions, as love, compassion, kindness; compassionate; pitiful; anxious for another's good; easily excited to pity, forgiveness, or favor; sympathetic. "The Lord is very pitiful, and of tender mercy." (James v. 11) "I am choleric by my nature, and tender by my temper." (Fuller)

5. Exciting kind concern; dear; precious. "I love Valentine, Whose life's as tender to me as my soul!" (Shak)

6. Careful to save inviolate, or not to injure; with of. "Tender of property." "The civil authority should be tender of the honor of God and religion." (Tillotson)

7. Unwilling to cause pain; gentle; mild. "You, that are thus so tender o'er his follies, Will never do him good." (Shak)

8. Adapted to excite feeling or sympathy; expressive of the softer passions; pathetic; as, tender expressions; tender expostulations; a tender strain.

9. Apt to give pain; causing grief or pain; delicate; as, a tender subject. "Things that are tender and unpleasing."

10. Heeling over too easily when under sail; said of a vessel.

Tender is sometimes used in the formation of self-explaining compounds; as, tender-footed, tender-looking, tender-minded, tender-mouthed, and the like.

Synonyms: Delicate, effeminate, soft, sensitive, compassionate, kind, humane, merciful, pitiful.

Origin: F. Tendre, L. Tener; probably akin to tenuis thin. See Thin.

1. One who tends; one who takes care of any person or thing; a nurse.

2. A vessel employed to attend other vessels, to supply them with provisions and other stores, to convey intelligence, or the like.

3. A car attached to a locomotive, for carrying a supply of fuel and water.

Origin: From Tend to attend. Cf. Attender.

(01 Mar 1998)

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