Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French tendre, from Latin tener; perhaps akin to Latin tenuis thin, slight — more at thin
Date: 13th century
a. having a soft or yielding texture ; easily broken, cut, or damaged ; delicate, fragile <tender feet> b. easily chewed ; succulent 2. a. physically weak ; not able to endure hardship b. immature, young <children of tender age> c. incapable of resisting cold ; not hardy <tender perennials> 3. marked by, responding to, or expressing the softer emotions ; fond, loving <a tender lover> 4. a. showing care ; considerate, solicitous <tender regard> b. highly susceptible to impressions or emotions ; impressionable <a tender conscience> 5. a. appropriate or conducive to a delicate or sensitive constitution or character ; gentle, mild <tender breeding> <tender irony> b. delicate or soft in quality or tone <never before heard the piano sound so tender — Elva S. Daniels> 6. obsolete dear, precious 7. a. sensitive to touch or palpation <the bruise was still tender> b. sensitive to injury or insult ; touchy <tender pride> c. demanding careful and sensitive handling ; ticklish <a tender situation> d. of a boat easily tipped by an external force • tenderly adverb • tenderness noun II. noun Etymology: 1tender Date: 13th century obsolete consideration, regard III. verb (tendered; tendering) Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. to make tender ; soften, weaken 2. archaic to regard or treat with tenderness intransitive verb to become tender IV. verb (tendered; tendering) Etymology: Middle English tendren, from Anglo-French tendre offer Date: 15th century transitive verb 1. to make a tender of 2. to present for acceptance ; offer <tendered my resignation> intransitive verb to make a bid or tender <tender for a building contract> <tendered for six percent of the stock> V. noun Usage: often attributive Etymology: Middle English tendur grant of a license, from Anglo-French tendre offer, tender, from tendre, verb, to stretch, hold out, offer, direct, from Latin tendere to stretch, direct — more at thin Date: circa 1543 1. an unconditional offer of money or service in satisfaction of a debt or obligation made to save a penalty or forfeiture for nonpayment or nonperformance 2. an offer or proposal made for acceptance: as a. an offer of a bid for a contract b. tender offer 3. something that may be offered in payment; specifically money VI. noun Date: 1675 one that tends: as a. (1) a ship employed to attend other ships (as to supply provisions) (2) a boat for communication or transportation between shore and a larger ship (3) a warship that provides logistic support b. a car attached to a steam locomotive for carrying a supply of fuel and water VII. noun Etymology: probably short for tenderloin Date: 1983 an often breaded strip of usually breast meat <chicken tenders>; also the tenderloin of a chicken
New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.