9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[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.
Origin of contend
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 contends
  • The author contends that it was a victory for academic freedom.
  • He contends that, ultimately, proof is always from particulars to particulars.
  • One side contends that each brain cell is a discrete functional unit, a scheme now known as the neuron doctrine.
  • But he contends that other gene therapies already in clinical trials suggest that the treatment could work.
  • Furthermore, he contends, it is impossible to determine the population sizes of extinct animals.
  • Overseas capital and expertise, it contends, provide critical help in harvesting its mineral wealth.
  • The flow of credit has already been disrupted more severely and for a longer period than ever before, he contends.
  • The government contends that graft is not increasing: it is merely that more is coming to light as the industry is restructured.
  • It contends that: a country's economic prospects depend in large measure on whether it is a place where people want to be.
  • Now, he contends, more cities may try to change the way they operate.
British Dictionary definitions for contends


(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 contends



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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