Etymology
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tender (n.2)
"formal offer for acceptance," 1540s, from tender (v.). Specific sense of "money offered as payment" is from 1740, in legal tender "currency which by law must be accepted from a debtor" (see legal).
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tender (adj.)
"soft, easily injured," early 13c., from Old French tendre "soft, delicate; young" (11c.), from Latin tenerem (nominative tener) "soft, delicate; of tender age, youthful," from a derivative of PIE root *ten- "to stretch," on the notion of "stretched," hence "thin," hence "weak" or "young." Compare Sanskrit tarunah "young, tender," Greek teren "tender, delicate," Armenian t'arm "young, fresh, green."

Meaning "kind, affectionate, loving" first recorded early 14c. Meaning "having the delicacy of youth, immature" is attested in English from early 14c. Related: Tenderly; tenderness. Tender-hearted first recorded 1530s.
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tender (v.)

"to offer formally," 1540s, from French tendre "to offer, hold forth" (11c.), from Latin tendere "to stretch, extend" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"). The retention of the ending of the French infinitive is unusual (see render (v.) for another example).

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tender (n.1)
"person who tends another," late 15c., probably an agent noun formed from Middle English tenden "attend to" (see tend (v.2)); later extended to locomotive engineers (1825) and barmen (1883). The meaning "small boat used to attend larger ones" first recorded 1670s.
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bartender (n.)

also bar-tender; 1836, American English, from bar (n.2) + tender (n.1).

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tenderize (v.)
1733, from tender + -ize. Specifically of food, recorded by 1935, originally American English. Related: Tenderized; tenderizing.
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tenderloin (n.)
1828, "tender part of a loin of pork or beef," from tender (adj.) + loin. The slang meaning "police district noted for vice" appeared first 1887 in New York, on the notion of the neighborhood of the chief theaters, restaurants, etc., being the "juciest cut" for graft and blackmail.
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tendril (n.)

"leafless plant-organ attaching to another for support," 1530s, from French tendrillon "bud, shoot, cartilage," perhaps a diminutive of tendron "cartilage," from Old French tendre "soft" (see tender (adj.)), or else from Latin tendere "to stretch, extend" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").

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tenderfoot (n.)

1866, American English, originally of newcomers to ranching or mining districts, from tender (adj.) + foot (n.). The U.S. equivalent of what in Great Britain was generally called a greenhand. As a level in Boy Scouting, it is recorded from 1908.

Among the Indians, more than half of every sentence is expressed by signs. And miners illustrate their conversation by the various terms used in mining. I have always noticed how clearly these terms conveyed the idea sought. Awkwardness in comprehending this dialect easily reveals that the hearer bears the disgrace of being a "pilgrim," or a "tender-foot," as they style the new emigrant. ["A Year in Montana," Atlantic Monthly, August 1866]

Tender-footed (adj.) "cautious", originally of horses, is recorded from 1680s; of persons from 1854.

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*ten- 
Proto-Indo-European root meaning "to stretch," with derivatives meaning "something stretched, a string; thin."

It forms all or part of: abstain; abstention; abstinence; abstinent; atelectasis; attend; attenuate; attenuation; baritone; catatonia; catatonic; contain; contend; continue; detain; detente; detention; diatonic; distend; entertain; extend; extenuate; hypotenuse; hypotonia; intend; intone (v.1) "to sing, chant;" isotonic; lieutenant; locum-tenens; maintain; monotony; neoteny; obtain; ostensible; peritoneum; pertain; pertinacious; portend; pretend; rein; retain; retinue; sitar; subtend; sustain; tantra; telangiectasia; temple (n.1) "building for worship;" temple (n.2) "flattened area on either side of the forehead;" temporal; tenable; tenacious; tenacity; tenant; tend (v.1) "to incline, to move in a certain direction;" tendency; tender (adj.) "soft, easily injured;" tender (v.) "to offer formally;" tendon; tendril; tenement; tenesmus; tenet; tennis; tenon; tenor; tense (adj.) "stretched tight;" tensile; tension; tensor; tent (n.) "portable shelter;" tenterhooks; tenuous; tenure; tetanus; thin; tone; tonic.

It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit tantram "loom," tanoti "stretches, lasts," tanuh "thin," literally "stretched out;" Persian tar "string;" Lithuanian tankus "compact," i.e. "tightened;" Greek teinein "to stretch," tasis "a stretching, tension," tenos "sinew," tetanos "stiff, rigid," tonos "string," hence "sound, pitch;" Latin tenere "to hold, grasp, keep, have possession, maintain," tendere "to stretch," tenuis "thin, rare, fine;" Old Church Slavonic tento "cord;" Old English þynne "thin."
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