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

Etymology 1[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,[2] 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).
    • 1697, “The Third Book of the Georgics”, in John Dryden, transl., The Works of Virgil: Containing His Pastorals, Georgics, and Æneis. [], London: [] Jacob Tonson, [], OCLC 403869432:
      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.

Etymology 2[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.



Alternative forms[edit]


From Proto-Albanian *spenda, from Proto-Indo-European *spand-, related to Ancient Greek σφαδάζω (sphadázō, to shiver, tremble), Sanskrit स्पन्दत (spandate, to quiver, shake),[1] Old Norse fisa (to fart), Norwegian fattr (id)).


fend (first-person singular past tense fenda, participle fendur)

  1. I break wind, fart (silently)


Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Further reading[edit]

  • [3] active verb fend • Fjalor Shqip (Albanian Dictionary)


  1. ^ [1] albanian verb fend in Albanian Etymological Dictionary - by Vladimir Orel, 1998, Page: 95




  1. third-person singular present indicative of fendre



fen +‎ -d


  • IPA(key): [ˈfɛnd]
  • Hyphenation: fend



  1. second-person singular imperative present definite of fen
    Synonym: fenjed



(This etymology is missing or incomplete. Please add to it, or discuss it at the Etymology scriptorium.)


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 or fendis)

  1. Alternative form of feend
    • c. 1395, John Wycliffe, John Purvey [et al.], transl., Bible (Wycliffite Bible (later version), MS Lich 10.)‎[4], published c. 1410, Matheu 4:1, lines 3–4, page 2r, column 2; republished as Wycliffe's translation of the New Testament, Lichfield: Bill Endres, 2010:
      Thanne ıḣc was lad of a ſpirit in to deſert .· to be temptid of þe fend /
      Then Jesus was led of a Spirit into desert, to be tempted of the fiend.[5]
    • c. 1395, John Wycliffe, John Purvey [et al.], transl., Bible (Wycliffite Bible (later version), MS Lich 10.)‎[6], published c. 1410, Matheu 4:24, lines 18–23, page 1v, column 1; republished as Wycliffe's translation of the New Testament, Lichfield: Bill Endres, 2010:
      and hıs fame .· wente in to al ſirie / ⁊ þei bꝛouȝten to hĩ alle þat weren at male eeſe · ⁊ þat weren take wiþ dyīiſe langoꝛes ⁊ turmentis / and hem þat haddẽ fendis · ⁊ lunatik men · ⁊ men in þe paleſie .· ⁊ he heelide hem /
      And his fame went into all Syria; and they brought to him all that were at mal-ease, and that were taken with diverse languors and torments, and them that had fiends, and lunatic men, and men in palsy, and he healed them.[7]