fend for oneself

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

  1. To take care of oneself without help.
    • 2012, Christoper Zara, Tortured Artists: From Picasso and Monroe to Warhol and Winehouse, the Twisted Secrets of the World's Most Creative Minds, part 1, chapter 1, 26:
      Clara's father, a trollish ne'er-do-well who spent most of his time in brothels and saloons, would disappear for days and weeks at a stretch, leaving Clara and her mother to fend for themselves.
    After her mother passed away, she had to learn to fend for herself.