Definition of contend in English:

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Pronunciation: /kənˈtend/


1 [no object] (contend with/against) Struggle to surmount (a difficulty or danger): 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
1.1 (contend for) Engage in a competition or campaign in order to win or achieve (something): the local team should contend for a division championship (as adjective contending) disputes continued between the contending parties
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, vie, contest, fight, battle, tussle, go head to head;
strive, struggle
2Assert something as a position in an argument: he contends that the judge was wrong
More example sentences
  • He contends that the arguments for having a university in the town centre are false because there isn't room.
  • However, he contends that the position in so far as his client is concerned is straightforward.
  • As for his constituency neglect rebuke, Francis contends that his claims still stand.
assert, maintain, hold, claim, argue, insist, state, declare, profess, affirm;
formal aver


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

Words that rhyme with contend

amend, append, apprehend, ascend, attend, befriend, bend, blend, blende, commend, comprehend, condescend, defriend, depend, emend, end, expend, extend, fend, forfend, friend, impend, interdepend, lend, mend, misapprehend, misspend, offend, on-trend, Oostende, Ostend, perpend, portend, rend, reprehend, scrag-end, send, spend, subtend, suspend, tail end, tend, transcend, trend, underspend, unfriend, upend, vend, weekend, wend

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: con·tend

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