Tinder vs tender

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Tinder and tender are two words that are pronounced in the same way but are spelled differently and have different meanings, which makes them homophones. We will examine the definitions of tinder and tender, where these two words came from and some examples of their use in sentences.

Tinder is a flammable substance that is used to start a fire. Types of tinder are paper, fatwood from the heart of a pine tree or bark from a birch tree. Tinder may be from a natural source or man-made source. Tinder catches fire quickly but is also consumed quickly. When making a fire, the purpose of tinder is to ignite kindling wood, which is wood that is the size of twigs. Kindling, in turn, ignites fuel wood, which is log-sized and is what sustains a fire. The word tinder may be used figuratively to mean something that ignites a volatile situation. Tinder is derived from the Old English word tynder, which means to kindle.

Tender may mean 1.) exhibiting warmth, kindness or gentleness 2.) something that is sore or painful 3.) something soft or extremely pliable 4.) to formally offer something 5.) a vehicle, boat or train car that carries supplies 6.) someone who takes care of something. The word tender may be used as an adjective, noun or verb, related words are tenders, tendered, tendering. The word tender, meaning kindness is derived from the Latin word tenerem, which means delicate, soft or youthful. The word tender to mean to formally offer something or a vehicle carrying supplies is derived from the French word tendre which means to offer something.


They arrange kindling over piled tinder, then slip a match between the teepee poles to light the tinder. (The Times Colonist)

A tender for a transportation project which includes a monorail system between the Sefaköy and Halkalı districts on Istanbul’s European side was canceled due to authorities’ need to revise the project, the company which won the tender announced late on July 26. (The Hurriyet Daily News)

My chickpea salad was tender and served seasoned with mild red Middle Eastern spices. (The Mail Tribune)

Smesko said Knight’s elbow was tender on Thursday, so she wore a protective pad during practice. (The Naples Daily News)