Tender Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How to Use It

Your writing, at its best

Compose bold, clear, mistake-free, writing with Grammarly's AI-powered writing assistant

Between a seemingly endless pandemic and inflation on the rise, it’s really no surprise that most people’s stress levels are at an all-time high these days. But since chronic stress is a silent killer, it’s more important than ever to set aside some time to unwind, relax, and get some much-needed TLC — aka, Tender Loving Care. 

That said, what does the word tender mean? We’ll tell you. Read on to discover the definition behind tender, its origin, synonyms, and more. 

What Is the Definition of Tender?

/ˈten.dɚ/ /ˈten.dər/ /ˈten.dər/

According to the Collins Dictionary, something or someone who is tender expresses gentle and caring feelings. Our word of the day can also be defined as a formal written offer to provide services or goods for a particular price. 

But that’s not all; when used as an adjective, the word tender means easy to chew or cut — aka not tough. It can also refer to a very young age as well as something that’s painful (usually a body part) when touched or sore.  

When used in the realm of finance and accounting, however, a tender is an invitation to bid for a project or accept a formal offer (like a takeover bid). In this context, the term tender also refers to a process where shareholders submit their securities in response to a takeover offer.  

What Is the Word Origin of Tender?

The first recorded use of the English word tender dates back to the 13th century. The Middle English tender — or tendre — is borrowed from Anglo-French tendre, which goes back to Latin tener, meaning “soft, delicate, immature, sensitive, and yielding easily.”

The Anglo-French word tendre and Latin tendere are also French verbs that mean “to stretch,” “to hold out,” “to extend,” or “to offer.”

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Tender?

Now that you understand what our word of the day means, it’s time to explore a few antonyms and synonyms. If you need a quick refresher, a synonym is a word or expression that has the same meaning as another word or expression, whereas an antonym has an opposite meaning. 

Synonyms of tender include: 

  • Delicate 
  • Frail
  • Well mannered 
  • Fragile
  • Heart-rending 
  • Down and out
  • Gullible
  • Unseasoned 
  • Callow
  • All heart
  • Impressionable 
  • Easily damaged
  • Debilitated
  • Wasted
  • Largehearted
  • Wet behind the ears 
  • Low
  • Good-natured
  • Softened
  • Weakened
  • Young
  • Tear-jerking 
  • Touchy-feely 
  • Bleeding heart
  • Lacking experience 
  • Youthful
  • Lovey-dovey
  • Developing
  • Budding 
  • Dewy eyed 
  • Simple 
  • Immature
  • Wide-eyed 
  • Languid 
  • Born yesterday 

Antonyms of tender include:

  • Strongly made
  • Firm
  • Grown-up
  • Mean spirited 
  • Powerful
  • Senior
  • Hard-hearted 
  • Street smart 
  • Older
  • Cold-hearted
  • Ancient 
  • Robust
  • Obdurate 
  • Inhospitable 
  • Wordly wise
  • Energetic
  • Hearty
  • Cold-blooded
  • Well made
  • Active 
  • Higher ranking
  • Over the hill

How Can You Use Tender in a Sentence?

If you ask us, one of the best ways to commit a new word to memory is by practicing to use it in a sentence. Quiz yourself to see how many sentences you can come up with properly using our word of the day. 

Not sure where to start? Here are a few sentence examples to help get you going:

“Despite being one of the largest men I know, Billy is very tender and gentle when he’s around me.”

“Did you know that a tender is a boneless strip of chicken that’s usually cut from the thigh or breast?”

“You need to marinate the meat overnight, or it won’t be tender.”

“The issue at hand is a tender one, so it’d be best if we spoke in private.”

“Little Suzie is still at the tender age of six and way too vulnerable to watch horror movies.”

“Since I’m in charge of dinner tonight, you should probably know that I’m making chicken tenders.”

“My cheek was very tender after Grandpa accidentally whacked me with a fishing pole last weekend.”

“I have very tender plants, so it’s important that you water them with the utmost care.”

“There’s just about nothing I love more than treating myself to some tender loving care or TLC.”

“I appreciate the tender offer, but we’re going to have to pass.”

“No, I didn’t ask for tenderloin; I requested chicken tenders.”

“If you grab your handy-dandy thesaurus, you’ll find a ton of synonyms for the word tender.” 

“Do you know how to use the adverb of tender in a sentence? I believe it is tenderly.”

What Are Translations of Tender?

Did you know that there is more than one way to say the term tender? Here are some of the most common translations of our word of the day:

Tender as an adjective: 

  • French — tendre 
  • German — zart 
  • Greek — τρυφερός 
  • Italian — tenero
  • American English — tender 
  • Japanese — 柔らかい 
  • Korean — 부드러운 
  • Thai — อ่อนโยน 
  • Turkish — yumuşak 
  • Ukrainian — ніжний
  • Vietnamese — mềm
  • Norwegian — mør 
  • Polish — czuły 
  • Romanian — tandru
  • Russian — нежный 
  • Spanish — tierno 
  • Swedish — ömtålig
  • European Portuguese — afável
  • Arabic — لَطِيف 
  • Czech — něžný 
  • Danish — kærlig 
  • British English — tender
  • Dutch — gevoelig 
  • European Spanish — tierno 
  • Finnish — pehmeä
  • Brazilian Portuguese — afável 
  • Chinese — 温柔的 
  • Croatian — nježan

Tender as a verb:

  • American English — tender  
  • Brazilian Portuguese — abrir licitação 
  • Chinese — 投标
  • Korean — 입찰하다
  • European Spanish — ofrecer 
  • French — faire une soumission 
  • German — sich bewerben um
  • Italian — partecipare a una gara d’appalto 
  • Japanese — 入札する
  • European Portuguese — abrir licitação 
  • Spanish — ofrecer 
  • British English — tender
  • Thai — ยื่นข้อเสนอ, ยื่นประมูล


Our word of the day has a number of definitions. Tender can refer to a strip of chicken meat, a young and vulnerable child, someone that is frail or delicate, and even something used as an official medium of payment (aka legal tender). 

It can mean easily crushed, sensitive to frost or severe cold, and one who tends something. You can also use the word tender to describe a painful or sensitive area on your body. 


Tender definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 

Stress, The Silent Killer | United Brain Association

TENDER English Definition and Meaning | Lexico.com