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leave (one) to (someone's) tender mercies

To allow someone 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 Mairead's tender mercies.
See also: leave, mercy, 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, 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 ?
The Tenderly brand is involved in tissue, toilet paper, napkins, handkerchiefs and towels while Tutto is a range based on airlaid technology or dry paper.
NOSEY FATHER: PM with Florence and, inset, Blair and Leo in 2000 HELLO, MY TINY FLO Baby Florence snoozes as dad David tenderly holds her close
Don't let this sweet picture of the comic tenderly kissing his on-screen girlfriend, Heroes star Kirsten Bell, fool you.
It's a very tenderly told story with some horrorific elements going on.
The Adagio duet, performed tenderly by Jon Drake and Underwood, seems dated and sentimental in the light of Brokebaek Mountain.
Included is a 21-track CD, giving life to many of the most ardent poems in the collection, including a reading of "Daddy's Song" tenderly featuring Hammad's father.
Sen "mastered the art of patiently and tenderly hand-feeding the males;' says Gadagkar.
Tutu Maramba," a traditional Brazilian lullaby marked "tenderly," requires the student to carefully listen as the right and left hand tenderly sing and shape the lullaby.
The most thrilling moment among many in Unveiled occurs when Fariba and her new love, Anne, haltingly and tenderly undress for the first time.
So persistent was the little frog that it was tenderly picked up and placed in the garden where it is today.
The car hoods, joined to boxy wood plinths and tenderly sanded to reveal thin washes of gray and celadon, suffered for being dispersed throughout different rooms: fragments call out for the company of other fragments, and closer proximity would have better conveyed the '70s muscle car's range of bony excrescence and canted surface.
The horse was adjudged to have been tenderly handled before finishing sixth of eight in the toteplacepot Handicap.
He referred, approvingly, to a recent book about physician-assisted suicide as presenting the case for doctor-assisted suicide "rationally and tenderly.
May I remind you of the Catholic Church in this country, which has been accused of a variety of unconscionable acts against young people, and who have been, to put it tenderly, slow to grasp the concept of contrition?
The following extract from a prayer, which some people will use tomorrow, might give you some ideas: Blessed are the peacemakers who help those who are hurting Blessed are the peacemakers who befriend perfect strangers Blessed are the peacemakers who open doors for acting justly, loving tenderly and walking humbly with God and all people of good will.