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 and Etymology 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
PERTAIN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of pertain for English Language Learners
: to relate to someone or something : to have a connection to a person or thing
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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