tender

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Related to tenderest: heaver, Pertaining to, holding back
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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.
See also: leave, mercy, tender

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!
See also: age, tender

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!
See also: age, of, tender

tender age

A youthful age. I'm not surprised to hear that he was doing science experiments at such a tender age—he's a child genius! I experienced my first true heartbreak at the tender age of 18.
See also: age, tender

tender loving care

Compassionate, caring, protective attention or treatment. Sometime abbreviated to TLC, especially when using the term more jocularly or lightheartedly. I find that giving these patients tender loving care is as beneficial to them as their medication, sometimes more so. Your plants just need a little tender loving care and they'll be green and healthy again in no time!
See also: care, loving, tender

tender love and care

Compassionate, caring, protective attention or treatment. Sometime abbreviated to TLC, especially when using the term more jocularly or lightheartedly. A less common variant of the phrase "tender loving care." I find that giving these patients tender love and care is as beneficial to them as their medication, sometimes more so. Your plants just need a little tender love and care and they'll be green and healthy again in no time!
See also: and, care, love, tender

tender age of

the young age of... She left home at the tender age of 17 and got married to a rock singer.
See also: age, of, tender

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."
See also: leave, mercy, tender

tender age

A young age, as in It's a great advantage to learn languages at a tender age. [Early 1300s]
See also: age, tender

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]
See also: care, loving, tender

at a ˌtender ˈage

,

at the tender ˌage of ˈ8, ˈ12, etc.

used in connection with somebody who is still young and does not have much experience: We were sent to boarding school at a tender age.At the tender age of seventeen I left home.
See also: age, tender
References in periodicals archive ?
7) For Philip, we can see it as the "food for the tenderest stomachs" that which, first among written texts, was present to whet his interest and stimulate his further appetite.
What must he feel whom no false Vision But truest tenderest Passion warmed?
On the contrary, he says, the smaller leaf grades are more likely to be produced from the tenderest and finer parts of the tea shoot which break up more easily during processing.
Hearts of salmon (200g) the tenderest part of the fillet, lightly salted and smoked - went for 61.
This was her constant, tenderest, and most secret dream.
At least Dita demonstrates her good sense by reserving her tenderest moments for Ingrid, while almost retching upon finding John disporting himself with that disgusting Ben.
Black men are some of the tenderest lovers, self-sacrificing husbands, and dedicated fathers to ever walk the face of the earth.
Robert Lauri has been an author, a composer, a tunesmith and a performer since his tenderest years.
Right from the thunderous opening chords, which elicited the tenderest of responses, Perahia never blunted nor blurred the vehemence of Beethoven's contrasts, especially in the finale's fugue where the theme is almost brutally contorted backwards and upside down on Beethoven's experimental musical rack.
The beef was the tenderest I've had in a long time and the dish was served with a fried free range egg and onion rings.
Other than the sacred tenderloin, normally eaten by only the hunters and those they love most, the backstrap is the tenderest part of the whole deer.
Paying tribute in the ECHO, Canon Raven wrote: "He was a great prophet and a great hero, a man of intense vitality and tenderest compassion, tortured by pity for human suffering and giving himself with reckless and wholly unselfish generosity for its relief.
Only the tenderest green leaves, from plants grown in soil laced with sapphire particles, are selected, and the blend is then manufactured at night to preserve its flavour.
Of course, Brooke was no mass murderer, but he ably united the notions of fighting and killing with the tenderest emotions of poetry.
Then finally in the four corners go those tenderest of crops, the cucumber.