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Related to tender: tinder
leave (one) to (someone's) tender mercies
To allow one to face the punishment or rebukes of another person who will not show them any mercy, kindness, or sympathy. The phrase is used ironically. I thought it would be best if I spoke to her, rather than leaving her to the principal's tender mercies. I don't have time to deal with this. I'll just leave them to Mrs. Tanner's tender mercies.
at a tender age
In one's youth. I'm not surprised to hear that he was doing science experiments at a tender age—he's a child genius!
at the tender age of
This phrase is used to emphasize how young one was when one did something in particular. (The age is stated after "of.") I'm not surprised to hear that he was doing science experiments at the tender age of seven—he's a child genius!
tender age of
the young age of... She left home at the tender age of 17 and got married to a rock singer.
tender something for something
to offer something (of value) for something. The shareholders were asked to tender one of their shares for two of the offering company's. I decided not to tender my shares.
See also: tender
tender something (to someone) (for something)
to offer or present something to someone for something. Laura tendered payment to Gary for the tickets. Walter tendered the old shares to the company for new shares.
leave to someone's tender mercies
Submit to another's power or discretion, especially to an unsympathetic individual. Today this expression is always used ironically, as in We left him to the tender mercies of that stiff-necked, arrogant nurse. It alludes to a biblical passage (Proverbs 12:10): "A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast; but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel."
A young age, as in It's a great advantage to learn languages at a tender age. [Early 1300s]
tender loving care
Also, TLC. Solicitous and compassionate care, as in These houseplants sure have had tender loving care, or Older house for sale, needs some renovation and TLC. Originally used to describe the work of care-givers such as nurses, this term today is often used ironically or euphemistically. [Second half of 1900s]