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[per-teyn] /pərˈteɪn/
verb (used without object)
to have reference or relation; relate:
documents pertaining to the lawsuit.
to belong or be connected as a part, adjunct, possession, or attribute.
to belong properly or fittingly; be appropriate.
Origin of pertain
1300-50; Middle English pertenen, partenen, perteinen < Middle French partein-, tonic stem of partenir < Latin pertinēre to be applicable, literally, to hold through, reach, equivalent to per- per- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold
Related forms
unpertaining, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for pertain
  • Much of the freedom and leisure to think that used to pertain in academia is gone.
  • Some of the most intriguing ones pertain to locomotion.
  • How this might pertain to choices that people might make is, as yet, unclear.
  • The centralized plant efficiencies of 35% that you state pertain only to coal fired plants.
  • Those ethical codes pertain to their medical profession, only.
  • So the galactic environment does pertain to that of the solar system.
  • Ceaseless and incessant pertain to uninterrupted activity: The ceaseless thunder of the surf eroded the beach.
  • The conclusions always pertain to the starting conditions.
  • The 'fines and hurdles' you refer to pertain only to those seeking citizenship.
  • Forums were made for the discussion of questions, of the interest to which they pertain.
British Dictionary definitions for pertain


verb (intransitive) often foll by to
to have reference, relation, or relevance: issues pertaining to women
to be appropriate: the product pertains to real user needs
to belong (to) or be a part (of); be an adjunct, attribute, or accessory (of)
Word Origin
C14: from Latin pertinēre, from per- (intensive) + tenēre to hold
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 pertain

early 14c., from Old French partenir "to belong to" and directly from Latin pertinere "to reach, stretch; relate, have reference to; belong, be the right of; be applicable," from per- "through" (see per) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Related: Pertained; pertaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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