Tenderness is a feeling of concern, gentle affection, or warmth. It's the quality of a person who cries when they see someone get hurt or who gently picks up a tiny kitten.

Writing a heartfelt note to a sad friend is one way to show tenderness, and so is giving your brother a sincere hug on his birthday. Another definition of this adjective is "extreme sensitivity to pain." You might experience tenderness in your muscles the day after going on a long hike. This is actually the original meaning, from tender, "soft or easily injured," and a root meaning "stretched, thin, or weak."

Definitions of tenderness
  1. noun
    warm compassionate feelings
    synonyms: tenderheartedness
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    type of:
    compassion, compassionateness
    a deep awareness of and sympathy for another's suffering
  2. noun
    a feeling of concern for the welfare of someone (especially someone defenseless)
    synonyms: softheartedness
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    type of:
    a feeling of sympathy for someone or something
  3. noun
    a positive feeling of liking
    synonyms: affection, affectionateness, fondness, heart, philia, warmheartedness, warmness
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    attachment, fond regard
    a feeling of affection for a person or an institution
    a feeling of protective affection
    regard, respect
    a feeling of friendship and esteem
    soft spot
    a sentimental affection
    type of:
    the experiencing of affective and emotional states
  4. noun
    a tendency to express warm and affectionate feeling
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    type of:
    affectionateness, fondness, lovingness, warmth
    a quality proceeding from feelings of affection or love
  5. noun
    a pain that is felt (as when the area is touched)
    “the best results are generally obtained by inserting the needle into the point of maximum tenderness
    synonyms: rawness, soreness
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    soreness or irritation of the skin caused by friction
    rebound tenderness
    pain felt when a hand pressing on the abdomen is suddenly released; a symptom of peritoneal inflammation
    soreness and warmth caused by friction
    chafing between two skin surfaces that are in contact (as in the armpit or under the breasts or between the thighs)
    type of:
    hurting, pain
    a symptom of some physical hurt or disorder
DISCLAIMER: These example sentences appear in various news sources and books to reflect the usage of the word ‘tenderness'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of or its editors. Send us feedback
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