Share this entry

Share this page

fend

Line breaks: fend
Pronunciation: /fɛnd
 
/

Definition of fend in English:

verb

1 [no object] (fend for oneself) Look after and provide for oneself, without any help from others: she left her 14-year-old daughter to fend for herself
More example sentences
  • In the wild, if a female with a young one gets killed, other females may take care of the young one till it is old enough to fend for itself.
  • If you're old enough to date him, then you're old enough to fend for yourself.
  • All my chum wants is simple life insurance to cover him and his wife until he retires at age 65, or until his daughter is old enough to fend for herself financially.
Synonyms
take care of oneself, look after oneself, provide for oneself, shift for oneself, manage by oneself, get by alone, get by without help, cope alone, cope unaided, stand on one's own two feet, hold one's own, make it on one's own
2 [with object] (fend someone/thing off) Defend oneself from a blow, attack, or attacker: Meredith tried frantically to fend him off figurative he fended off the awkward questions
More example sentences
  • Jamie went in for the win, but Ward fended him off quite well.
  • He attempted to attack Rhys, but she fended him off.
  • We fended them off but they started smashing bottles as they left.
Synonyms
ward off, head off, stave off, hold off, keep off, repel, repulse, resist, forestall, pre-empt, fight off, defend oneself against, guard against, discourage, prevent, stop, put a stop to, block, intercept, halt, arrest, check, curb, hold back, baulk, foil, thwart, keep at bay, keep at arm's length;
parry, turn aside, divert, deflect, avert;
skirt round, dodge, duck, escape, evade

Origin

Middle English (in the sense 'defend'): shortening of defend. Compare with fence and fencible.

Definition of fend in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day terpsichorean
Pronunciation: ˌtəːpsɪkəˈriːən
adjective
relating to dancing