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  • IPA(key): /fɛnd/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛnd

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English fēnd, feond, from Old English fēond (adversary, foe, enemy, fiend, devil, Satan), from Proto-Germanic *fijandz, present participle of **fijaną, from Proto-Indo-European *peh₁- (to hate). More at fiend.


fend (plural fends)

  1. (Britain dialectal) An enemy; fiend; the Devil.

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English fenden (defend, fight, prevent), shortening of defenden (defend), from Old French deffendre (Modern French défendre), from Latin dēfendō (to ward off), from dē- +‎ *fendō (hit, thrust), from Proto-Indo-European *gʷʰen- (strike, kill).


fend (third-person singular simple present fends, present participle fending, simple past and past participle fended)

  1. (intransitive) To take care of oneself; to take responsibility for one's own well-being.
    • 1990, Messrs Howley and Murphy, quoted in U.S. House Subcommittee on Labor Standards, Oversight hearing on the Federal Service Contract Act,[1] U.S. Government Printing Office, page 40,
      Mr. Howley. They are telling him how much they will increase the reimbursement for the total labor cost. The contractor is left to fend as he can.
      Chairman Murphy. Obviously, he can’t fend for any more than the money he has coming in.
    • 2003, Scott Turow Reversible Errors, page 376
      The planet was full of creatures in need, who could not really fend, and the law was at its best when it ensured that they were treated with dignity.
  2. (rare, except as "fend for oneself") To defend, to take care of (typically construed with for); to block or push away (typically construed with off).
    • Dryden
      With fern beneath to fend the bitter cold.
    • 1999, Kuan-chung Lo, Guanzhong Luo, Luo Guanzhong, Moss Roberts, Three Kingdoms: A Historical Novel, page 39
      He fends, he blocks, too skillful to be downed.
    • 2002, Jude Deveraux, A Knight in Shining Armor, page 187
      [] My age is lot like yours. Lone women do not fare well. If I were not there to fend for you, you—”
Derived terms[edit]


fend (uncountable)

  1. (obsolete) Self-support; taking care of one's own well-being.




From Proto-Albanian *spenda, from Proto-Indo-European *spand- (compare Ancient Greek σφαδάζω (sphadázō, to shiver, tremble), Sanskrit स्पन्दत (spandate, to quiver, shake) and Old Norse fisa (to fart), Norwegian fattr (id)).


fend (first-person singular past tense fenda)

  1. to break wind, fart


Derived terms[edit]




  1. third-person singular present indicative of fendre



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fend (verbal noun fendeil, past participle fendit)

  1. to protect, defend


Manx mutation
Radical Lenition Eclipsis
fend end vend
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.

Middle English[edit]


fend (plural fendes)

  1. Alternative form of feend