tender

If you're tender, it means you're fragile, sensitive, easily bruised or gentle. Young, easily cut beef and a sentimental heart can both be called tender.

The many meanings attributed to tender developed over time. In the early 13th century, the word meant soft or easily injured. About a hundred years later, its meaning expanded to include kind and loving. Skip forward another century, and tender could also imply a lack of maturity.

Primary Meanings of tender

1.
adjv
easy to cut or chew
make tender or more tender as by marinating, pounding, or applying a tenderizer
2.
adj
given to sympathy or gentleness or sentimentality
3.
adj
young and immature
4.
adj
(used of boats) inclined to heel over easily under sail
5.
vn
propose a payment
something that can be used as an official medium of payment
6.
n
someone who waits on or tends to or attends to the needs of another
Full Definitions of tender
1

adj easy to cut or chew

tender beef”
Synonyms:
comestible, eatable, edible
suitable for use as food
chewable, cuttable
easy to cut or chew
crisp, crispy
tender and brittle
flakey, flaky
made of or easily forming flakes
tenderised, tenderized
made tender as by marinating or pounding
Antonyms:
tough
resistant to cutting or chewing
inedible, uneatable
not suitable for food
cartilaginous, gristly, rubbery
difficult to chew
chewy
requiring much chewing
coriaceous, leathered, leatherlike, leathery
resembling or made to resemble leather; tough but pliable
fibrous, sinewy, stringy, unchewable
(of meat) full of sinews; especially impossible to chew
fibrous, hempen
having or resembling fibers especially fibers used in making cordage such as those of jute
tough-skinned
having a relatively tough outer covering
show more antonyms...

v make tender or more tender as by marinating, pounding, or applying a tenderizer

Synonyms:
tenderise, tenderize
Type of:
alter, change, modify
cause to change; make different; cause a transformation
2

adj given to sympathy or gentleness or sentimentality

“a tender heart”
“a tender smile”
tender loving care”
tender memories”
“a tender mother”
Synonyms:
soft
compassionate and kind; conciliatory
protective
showing care
sentimental
given to or marked by sentiment or sentimentality
Antonyms:
tough
not given to gentleness or sentimentality
hard
dispassionate
insensitive
deficient in human sensibility; not mentally or morally sensitive
hard-bitten, hard-boiled, pugnacious
tough and callous by virtue of experience
tough-minded, unsentimental
facing facts or difficulties realistically and with determination
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adj having or displaying warmth or affection

“a tender glance”
Synonyms:
affectionate, fond, lovesome, warm
loving
feeling or showing love and affection
3

adj young and immature

“at a tender age”
Synonyms:
immature, young
(used of living things especially persons) in an early period of life or development or growth

adj physically untoughened

tender feet”
Synonyms:
untoughened
weak
wanting in physical strength
delicate, soft
easily hurt
Antonyms:
tough, toughened
physically toughened
rugged
sturdy and strong in constitution or construction; enduring
experienced, experient
having experience; having knowledge or skill from observation or participation
strong
having strength or power greater than average or expected
callous, calloused, thickened
having calluses; having skin made tough and thick through wear
enured, hardened, inured
made tough by habitual exposure
weather-beaten
tanned and coarsened from being outdoors
show more antonyms...

adj hurting

“the tender spot on his jaw”
Synonyms:
raw, sensitive, sore
painful
causing physical or psychological pain

adj (of plants) not hardy; easily killed by adverse growing condition

tender green shoots”
Synonyms:
delicate
exquisitely fine and subtle and pleasing; susceptible to injury
4

adj (used of boats) inclined to heel over easily under sail

Synonyms:
crank, cranky, tippy
unstable
lacking stability or fixity or firmness
5

v propose a payment

Synonyms:
bid, offer
Types:
show 6 types...
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by-bid
bid on behalf of someone else
subscribe
offer to buy, as of stocks and shares
overbid
bid more than the object is worth
underbid
bid too low
outbid
bid higher than others
underbid
bid lower than a competing bidder

v offer or present for acceptance

Type of:
gift, give, present
give as a present; make a gift of

v make a tender of; in legal settlements

Type of:
offer, proffer
present for acceptance or rejection

n something that can be used as an official medium of payment

Synonyms:
legal tender, stamp
Types:
food stamp
a government-issued stamp that can be used in exchange for food
Type of:
medium of exchange, monetary system
anything that is generally accepted as a standard of value and a measure of wealth in a particular country or region

n a formal proposal to buy at a specified price

Synonyms:
bid
Types:
overbid
a bid that is higher than preceding bids
buyout bid
a bid to buy all of a person's holdings
Type of:
offer, offering
something offered (as a proposal or bid)
6

n someone who waits on or tends to or attends to the needs of another

Synonyms:
attendant, attender
Examples:
show 4 examples...
hide 4 examples...
Damocles
the Greek courtier to Dionysius the Elder who (according to legend) was condemned to sit under a naked sword that was suspended by a hair in order to demonstrate to him that being a king was not the happy state Damocles had said it was (4th century BC)
Comtesse Du Barry
courtier and influential mistress of Louis XV who was guillotined during the French Revolution (1743-1793)
Sir Walter Raleigh
English courtier (a favorite of Elizabeth I) who tried to colonize Virginia; introduced potatoes and tobacco to England (1552-1618)
Sir John Suckling
English poet and courtier (1609-1642)
Types:
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companion
one paid to accompany or assist or live with another
baggageman
an attendant who takes care of baggage
batman
an orderly assigned to serve a British military officer
bellboy, bellhop, bellman
someone employed as an errand boy and luggage carrier around hotels
bridesmaid, maid of honor
an unmarried woman who attends the bride at a wedding
caddie, golf caddie
an attendant who carries the golf clubs for a player
checker
an attendant who checks coats or baggage
courtier
an attendant at the court of a sovereign
cupbearer
the attendant (usually an officer of a nobleman's household) whose duty is to fill and serve cups of wine
equerry
a personal attendant of the British royal family
escort
an attendant who is employed to accompany someone
esquire
(Middle Ages) an attendant and shield bearer to a knight; a candidate for knighthood
famulus
a close attendant (as to a scholar)
gillie
a young male attendant on a Scottish Highlander chief
groomsman
a male attendant of the bridegroom at a wedding
lifeguard, lifesaver
an attendant employed at a beach or pool to protect swimmers from accidents
linkboy, linkman
(formerly) an attendant hired to carry a torch for pedestrians in dark streets
loader
an attendant who loads guns for someone shooting game
matron of honor
a married woman serving as the attendant to the bride at a wedding
hospital attendant, orderly
a male hospital attendant who has general duties that do not involve the medical treatment of patients
orderly
a soldier who serves as an attendant to a superior officer
page, varlet
in medieval times a youth acting as a knight's attendant as the first stage in training for knighthood
page
a youthful attendant at official functions or ceremonies such as legislative functions and weddings
racker
an attendant who puts pool or billiard balls into a rack
rocker
an attendant who rocks a child in a cradle
second
the official attendant of a contestant in a duel or boxing match
servitor
someone who performs the duties of an attendant for someone else
squire
young nobleman attendant on a knight
gallant, squire
a man who attends or escorts a woman
flight attendant, steward
an attendant on an airplane
litter-bearer, stretcher-bearer
one who helps carry a stretcher
trainbearer
one who holds up the train of a gown or robe on a ceremonial occasion
arouser, rouser, waker
someone who rouses others from sleep
armiger, armor-bearer
a squire carrying the armor of a knight
best man
the principal groomsman at a wedding
check girl, hatcheck girl
a female checker
color guard
a ceremonial escort for the (regimental) colors
guard of honor, honor guard
an escort for a distinguished guest or for the casket at a military funeral
minder
someone (usually in totalitarian countries) who is assigned to watch over foreign visitors
air hostess, hostess, stewardess
a woman steward on an airplane
guide, usher
someone employed to conduct others
Type of:
assistant, help, helper, supporter
a person who contributes to the fulfillment of a need or furtherance of an effort or purpose

n car attached to a locomotive to carry fuel and water

Type of:
car, railcar, railroad car, railway car
a wheeled vehicle adapted to the rails of railroad

n ship that usually provides supplies to other ships

Synonyms:
supply ship
Type of:
ship
a vessel that carries passengers or freight

n a boat for communication between ship and shore

Synonyms:
cutter, pinnace, ship's boat
Types:
gig
tender that is a light ship's boat; often for personal use of captain
Type of:
boat
a small vessel for travel on water

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