Definition of contend in English:


Line breaks: con|tend
Pronunciation: /kənˈtɛnd


  • 1 [no object] (contend with/against) Struggle to surmount (a difficulty): she had to contend with his uncertain temper
    More example sentences
    • Otherwise, you can spend much of your precious vacation time contending with the difficulties mentioned above.
    • Both had to contend with the disadvantage of their sex but they dealt with it in very different ways.
    • Along with dangerous health struggles, Luna finds herself contending with the legacy of shame and secrecy that surround issues of sexuality in the Latino community.
    cope with, face, grapple with, deal with, take on, pit oneself against; resist, withstand
  • 1.1 (contend for) Compete with others in a struggle to achieve (something): factions within the government were contending for the succession to the presidency
    More example sentences
    • They provided me with the best opportunity to be a competitive racer, and I never would have contended for the championship without them.
    • She plans to continue competing in pageants and hopes to contend for Miss Virginia again.
    • Also contending for the Cup was the Moldovan with a Bulgarian passport, who was declared the most technical boxer of the tournament.
    compete, challenge, vie, contest; strive, struggle, tussle, grapple, wrestle, scuffle, squabble, skirmish, battle, combat, fight, war, wage war, join battle, cross swords, lock horns, go head to head; oppose, clash



More example sentences
  • They toured the area and challenged contenders to stay in the ring as long as they could.
  • He and the rest of the team look unlikely to have the strength in depth to challenge the major contenders.
  • If anything it looked like a textbook attempt to turn the club into a contender.


late Middle English (in the sense 'compete for (something)'): from Old French contendre or Latin contendere, from con- 'with' + tendere 'stretch, strive'.

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