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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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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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