(Ten"der), a. [Compar. Tenderer ; superl. Tenderest.] [F. tendre, L. tener; probably akin to
tenuis thin. See Thin.]
1. Easily impressed, broken, bruised, or injured; not firm or hard; delicate; as, tender plants; tender flesh;
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,Shak.
Whose life's as tender to me as my soul!
6. Careful to save inviolate, or not to injure; with of. "Tender of property." Burke.
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,Shak.
Will never do him good.
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
10. (Naut.) 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.
Syn. Delicate; effeminate; soft; sensitive; compassionate; kind; humane; merciful; pitiful.
(Ten"der) n. [Cf. F. tendre.] Regard; care; kind concern. [Obs.] Shak.