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From Middle English onfangen, onfon ‎(to receive, accept), from Old English onfōn, ondfōn ‎(to receive, accept, perceive), from Proto-Germanic *and- + *fanhaną ‎(to accept), from Proto-Indo-European *ph₂ḱ- ‎(to fasten, fix, stick), equivalent to and- +‎ fang. Cognate with West Frisian ûntfange ‎(to receive), Dutch ontvangen ‎(to receive), German empfangen ‎(to receive, welcome), Icelandic aðfang ‎(input, supply), Latin pangō ‎(fix, fasten, drive in), Old English ġefangian ‎(to fasten, join). More at un-, fang.


onfang ‎(third-person singular simple present onfangs, present participle onfanging, simple past and past participle onfanged)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To receive; welcome.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To accept; endure.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) (of a woman) To conceive.