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[fend] /fɛnd/
verb (used with object)
to ward off (often followed by off):
to fend off blows.
to defend.
verb (used without object)
to resist or make defense:
to fend against poverty.
to parry; fence.
to shift; provide:
to fend for oneself.
Origin of fend
1250-1300; Middle English fenden, aphetic variant of defenden to defend
Related forms
unfended, adjective
5. manage, make out, get along. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for fend
  • Flu shots may do more for the elderly than fend off the flu, new research shows.
  • In this deep recession only the government can prop up demand and fend off economic disaster.
  • The best way to fend off future hearing loss is to protect your ears with earplugs or noise-reducing earmuffs.
  • Easy-care plants and materials create a low-maintenance garden that can fend for itself for weeks at a stretch.
  • But the region is better prepared than it used to be to fend off hunger.
  • There are several ways to boost the immune system so it can better fend off infections.
  • So a handful began reaching out to ranchers, offering them money and tools to fend off wolves without killing them.
  • Virtual safety bubble erected around future cars by smart sensor systems will fend off accidents.
  • Yes, there are better ways to fend off a nap than jamming a pen into your thigh under the table.
  • Even where the government or aid agencies are present, the help is patchy at best, with many left to fend for themselves.
British Dictionary definitions for fend


(intransitive) foll by for. to give support (to someone, esp oneself); provide (for)
(transitive) usually foll by off. to ward off or turn aside (blows, questions, attackers, etc)
(transitive) (archaic) to defend or resist
(intransitive) (Scot & Northern English, dialect) to struggle; strive
(Scot & Northern English, dialect) a shift or effort
Word Origin
C13 fenden, shortened from defenden to defend
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 fend

late 13c., shortening of defend. To fend for oneself (1620s) is to see to one's own defense. Related: Fended; fending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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