Simple Definition of pertain
: to relate to someone or something : to have a connection to a person or thing
Full Definition of pertain
1 a (1) : to belong as a part, member, accessory, or product (2) : to belong as an attribute, feature, or function <the destruction pertaining to war> (3) : to belong as a duty or right <rights that pertain to fatherhood> b : to be appropriate to something <which rule pertains?>
2 : to have reference <books pertaining to birds>
Examples of pertain in a sentence
books pertaining to the country's history
<the belief that quality medical care is a right that pertains to everyone>
Did You Know?
Pertain comes to us via Anglo-French from the Latin verb pertinēre, meaning "to reach" to or "to belong." Pertinēre, in turn, was formed by combining the prefix per- (meaning "through") and tenēre ("to hold"). Tenēre is a popular root in English words and often manifests with the "-tain" spelling that can be seen in pertain. Other descendants include abstain, contain, detain, obtain, maintain, retain, and sustain, to name a few of the more common ones. Not every "-tain" word has tenēre in its ancestry, though. Ascertain, attain, and certain are among the exceptions. And a few tenēre words don't follow the usual pattern: tenacious and tenure are two.
Origin of pertain
Middle English perteinen, from Anglo-French partenir, purteiner, from Latin pertinēre to reach to, belong, from per- through + tenēre to hold — more at thin
First Known Use: 14th century
Rhymes with pertain
abstain, again, air lane, airplane, amain, arcane, arraign, attain, Bahrain, Bassein, Beltane, biplane, birdbrain, block plane, bloodstain, boat train, brain drain, bugbane, campaign, champagne, champaign, Champlain, checkrein, chicane, chilblain, choke chain, chow mein, cinquain, cocaine, Cockaigne, Coltrane, coxswain, complain, constrain, contain, cordwain, cowbane, crackbrain, demesne, deplane, destain, detain, detrain, devein, disdain, distain, distrain, dogbane, domain, drivetrain, dumb cane, edge-grain, Elaine, enchain, enplane, entrain, ethane, explain, eyestrain, fast lane, fleabane, floatplane, floodplain, food chain, forebrain, Fort Wayne, Gawain, germane, Great Dane, grosgrain, half plane, henbane, hindbrain, house-train, humane, Hussein, Igraine, immane, inane, ingrain, insane, jack plane, lamebrain, left brain, lightplane, lo mein, long-chain, Lorraine, maintain, marchpane, membrane, methane, midbrain, migraine, Montaigne, montane, moraine, mortmain, Moulmein, mundane, neck-rein, New Spain, obtain, octane, ordain, plain-Jane, profane, propane, ptomaine, purslane, quatrain, raise Cain, refrain, remain, restrain, retain, retrain, right brain, romaine, sailplane, sea-lane, seaplane, seatrain, split-brain, sustain, tailplane, tearstain, terrane, Touraine, towplane, triplane, Ukraine, unchain, urbane, vervain, vicereine, villein, volplane, warplane, wave train, wolfsbane
PERTAIN Defined for Kids
Definition of pertain for Students
1 : to relate to a person or thing <The laws pertain to hunting.>
2 : to belong to as a part, quality, or function <These duties pertain to the office of sheriff.>
Seen and Heard
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