\ 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

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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 Plantation seedlings, by contrast, had to fend for themselves. Richard Schiffman, The Christian Science Monitor, 7 May 2021 The desperation of families in India has spread across time zones and borders as families fend for themselves in search of hospital beds, oxygen canisters and basic medication. Washington Post, 3 May 2021 Hundreds of thousands of San Antonians had to fend for themselves last week. San Antonio Express-News, 22 Feb. 2021 The world taught her to fend for herself and then killed her for it. Amber J. Phillips, refinery29.com, 11 May 2021 The aim—through information campaigns and role-playing scenarios—is to equip citizens and companies to fend for themselves in crises triggered by anything from all-out war to pandemics to cyberattacks. James Marson, WSJ, 7 May 2021 Currently, there are guidelines in the Architectural Barriers Act (ABA), which only applies to federal lands — leaving states, cities, counties, and private areas to fend for themselves. Allison Norlian, Forbes, 5 May 2021 On the contrary, simply opening up an online booking system -- then letting residents fend for themselves -- puts the burden of work on the public, Dai said. oregonlive, 7 Mar. 2021 An addict looks for ways to beat the system and feed his habits while his six kids fend for themselves. Washington Post, 20 Feb. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Helping her fend off all the Sophies of the Wagner office. Rachel Epstein, Marie Claire, 1 June 2021 Wu has started carrying a tactical flashlight to help her fend off an attacker. Alaa Elassar, CNN, 21 May 2021 After around two months, 2-inch long babies hatch from the eggs and fend for themselves. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, 22 Dec. 2020 Last week, press secretary Kayleigh McEnany brought her husband, Sean Gilmartin, a major league baseball pitcher, to watch her fend off questions in the briefing room. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, 12 Dec. 2020 But the United States has continued to sell arms to Taiwan to help the democratic island fend off the threat of attack from Chinese Communist forces. Washington Post, 2 Jan. 2020 After an outing with a GQ contributor and a maître d’ (who brings his own supply of black truffles to a beer garden), she and a coworker fend off an assault from the maître d’ in the back of a taxi. Laura Marsh, The New Republic, 12 Feb. 2020 Kerevi was harshly judged after his fend hit the chest and slipped up the upright Patchell’s body. San Diego Union-Tribune, 29 Sep. 2019 Rhodes is expected to secure more such partnerships as Spotify ramps up its efforts to become a dominant player in the podcasting space, as well as fend off rival streaming services like Apple Music and Google Play. Chris Eggertsen, Billboard, 6 Sep. 2019

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.

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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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Learn More About fend

Time Traveler for fend

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for fend

Last Updated

13 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Fend.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/fend. Accessed 20 Jun. 2021.

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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

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for fend

Nglish: Translation of fend for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of fend for Arabic Speakers


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