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[kuh n-tend] /kənˈtɛnd/
verb (used without object)
to struggle in opposition:
to contend with the enemy for control of the port.
to strive in rivalry; compete; vie:
to contend for first prize.
to strive in debate; dispute earnestly:
to contend against falsehood.
verb (used with object)
to assert or maintain earnestly:
He contended that taxes were too high.
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English contenden < Anglo-French contendre < Latin contendere to compete, strive, draw tight, equivalent to con- con- + tendere to stretch; see tend1
Related forms
contender, noun
contendingly, adverb
noncontending, adjective
precontend, verb (used without object)
recontend, verb (used without object)
uncontended, adjective
uncontending, adjective
Can be confused
contend, contest.
1. wrestle, grapple, battle, fight. 2. See compete. 3. argue, wrangle. 4. hold, claim.
3. agree. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for contended
  • In fine, they live and are contended with that which nature gives them.
  • Enthusiasm contended with a sense of futility, and the urge to create with the compulsion to destroy.
  • Her talents and the brilliance of her mind contended with the strength of the emptiness.
  • He was also constantly in trouble, charged with crimes he contended were setups by poachers seeking to frame him.
  • Prosecutors contended the mark was added after the stock sale to support a cover story.
  • They contended that the firm disregarded evidence that investors were being bilked.
  • They contended that when he pulled out his wallet to show identification they mistook it for a gun.
  • She contended she was unable to perform nursing duties.
  • The debtor contended that the automatic stay was re-triggered by conversion.
  • He contended that the only thing communicated to the barrel was motion.
British Dictionary definitions for contended


(intransitive) often foll by with. to struggle in rivalry, battle, etc; vie
to argue earnestly; debate
(transitive; may take a clause as object) to assert or maintain
Derived Forms
contender, noun
contendingly, adverb
Word Origin
C15: from Latin contendere to strive, from com- with + tendere to stretch, aim
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for contended



mid-15c., from Old French contendre, from Latin contendere "to stretch out, strive after," from com-, intensive prefix (see com-), + tendere "to stretch" (see tenet). Related: Contended; contending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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