|Origin:||tendre, from Latin tener 'soft, young'|
tender food is easy to cut and eat, especially because it has been well cooked [≠ tough]:
Continue cooking until the meat is tender.
a part of your body that is tender is painful if someone touches it:
part of your body
My arm is still tender where I bruised it.
gentle and careful in a way that shows love:
Her voice was tender and soft.
a slow, tender kiss
easily damaged - used especially about plants or flowers:
tender plants that were killed by the harsh winter
5 usually spoken
sympathetic treatment and a lot of attention [= TLC]
the time when you are young or do not have much experience
at the tender age of something
Nicholas was sent to boarding school at the tender age of seven.
—tenderness noun [uncountable]WORD FOCUS: soft
soft and pleasant to touch: velvety, fluffy, silky
soft and easily crushed: squashy, squishy
soft and wet: mushy, squelchy BrE informal
soft and good to eat: tender
➔ See also soft