the pressed and formed sheet-metal part mounted over the road wheels of an automobile, bicycle, etc., to reduce the splashing of mud, water, and the like.
a device on the front of a locomotive, streetcar, or the like, for clearing the track of obstructions.
a mudguard or splashboard on a horse-drawn vehicle.
Nautical. a piece of timber, bundle of rope, or the like, hung over the side of a vessel to lessen shock or prevent chafing, as between the vessel and a dock or another vessel.
a low metal guard before an open fireplace, to keep back falling coals.
a person or thing that wards something off.

1350–1400; Middle English fendour, aphetic variant of defendour defender

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
fender (ˈfɛndə)
1.  a low metal frame which confines falling coals to the hearth
2.  chiefly (US) a metal frame fitted to the front of locomotives to absorb shock, clear the track, etc
3.  a cushion-like device, such as a car tyre hung over the side of a vessel to reduce damage resulting from accidental contact or collision
4.  (US), (Canadian) Also called (in Britain and certain other countries): wing the part of a car body that surrounds the wheels

Fender (ˈfɛndə)
trademark a type of solid-body electric guitar
[C20: named after Leo Fender (1909-91), its US inventor (1951)]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

late 13c., shortening of defender, used of boats at first, of fireplaces since 1680s; application to automobiles is 1919.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
Instead, unpleasant shocks are absorbed by an optimism that serves him as a
  kind of ship's fender, protecting him on all sides.
If you put a boat fender out on a rope, he'd hold it in his mouth and play
  tug-of-war, gently enough not to destroy the fender.
One fender bender, my husbands fault, was a horrible nightmare.
The fender was broken, the lights were all shattered and there was significant
  damage to the body of the bus.
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