\ ˈfend How to pronounce fend (audio) \
fended; fending; fends

Definition of fend

 (Entry 1 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : defend
2 : to keep or ward off : repel often used with off fend off an invader
3 dialectal British : to provide for : support

intransitive verb

1 dialectal British : to make an effort : struggle
2a : to try to get along without help : shift had to fend for themselves
b : to provide a livelihood



Definition of fend (Entry 2 of 2)

chiefly Scotland
: an effort or attempt especially for oneself

Synonyms & Antonyms for fend

Synonyms: Verb

Antonyms: Verb

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Examples of fend in a Sentence

Verb uses self-deprecating humor to fend herself from serious criticism
Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Now, one month before the campaign begins in earnest on Labor Day, aimless Republicans must fend off a Democratic Party that is playing offense. Matthew Continetti, National Review, 6 Aug. 2022 Over the long term, investing in renewable energy will fend off future fits of inflationary highs. Eamon Barrett, Fortune, 3 Aug. 2022 Over the last three weeks, it’s been closed several nights — including a four-night stretch — as the Los Angeles Police Department cracked down in an effort to fend off takeovers androwdy bystanders, most recently on Sunday. Rachel Uranga, Los Angeles Times, 2 Aug. 2022 Take a Self-Defense Class Self-defense classes can train you to fend off an attacker through various physical tactics, giving you the tools to handle a worst-case scenario. Outside Online, 1 Aug. 2022 Our world needs to be more unified in order to more effectively fend off any major threats to our health, whether its infectious disease, non-communicable disease like obesity, or aliens with tentacles and telepathic ability. Bruce Y. Lee, Forbes, 18 May 2022 To help Ukrainians fend off Russian forces, the United States will begin training the country's armed forces to use radar systems and armored vehicles that were included in a recent military assistance package, the Pentagon said. NBC News, 29 Apr. 2022 Two weeks into the war in Ukraine, President Joe Biden is facing mounting pressure to consider risky military options to help the Ukrainians fend off Russian troops. Kirsten Powers, CNN, 12 Mar. 2022 Since Russia’s invasion began, NATO otherwise has largely operated in lockstep to help Ukraine fend off Russian forces, delivering weapons to the neighboring country and running reinforcement to the alliance’s eastern front to protect allies there. Robert Wall, WSJ, 9 Mar. 2022 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun But in 2022 World Cup Qualifying, the two rivals have helped each other fend off other nations from stealing their automatic bids to the World Cup in Qatar. Drake Hills, USA TODAY, 24 Mar. 2022 Whether Gigi will be accepted back into the world of the whale or fend for herself in a hostile ocean after a year in the tame tanks of Sea World is a matter of conjecture. San Diego Union-Tribune, 13 Mar. 2022 Carr, who had over a dozen supporters speak at the meeting, said board members were lacking urgency in exploring major changes to better support students and fend of a plan by Republican lawmakers to dissolve the district. Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 Mar. 2022 Experts say frictions are fueled by a U.S. fend-for-yourself model around caring for kids. Alia E. Dastagir, USA TODAY, 8 Feb. 2022 Rodriguez can be an incredibly inventive director of action, but the choreography of the scene where Boba, Fennec, and the two Gamorrean fend off the shield-bearing assassins is just okay. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 29 Dec. 2021 The duo fend off acne-causing bacteria, but do so in a way that doesn’t dehydrate your skin or lead to further irritation. Joseph Deacetis, Forbes, 23 Dec. 2021 The running back rushed for a pair of touchdowns to help Lone Peak fend off American Fork, 27-21, on Friday night. The Salt Lake Tribune, 25 Sep. 2021 Helping her fend off all the Sophies of the Wagner office. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, 1 June 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'fend.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of fend


14th century, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1


1721, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for fend


Middle English fenden, short for defenden "to defend"

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Time Traveler for fend

Time Traveler

The first known use of fend was in the 14th century

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Dictionary Entries Near fend

fencing patent



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Statistics for fend

Last Updated

12 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Fend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fend. Accessed 14 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for fend


\ ˈfend How to pronounce fend (audio) \
fended; fending

Kids Definition of fend

1 : to drive away or repel I tried to fend off an attack.
2 : to get along without help You'll have to fend for yourself.

More from Merriam-Webster on fend

Nglish: Translation of fend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fend for Arabic Speakers


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