verb (used with object)
- to ward off (often followed by off): to fend off blows.
- to defend.
verb (used without object)
- to resist or make defense: to fend against poverty.
- to parry; fence.
- to shift; provide: to fend for oneself.
- (intr foll by for) to give support (to someone, esp oneself); provide (for)
- (tr usually foll by off) to ward off or turn aside (blows, questions, attackers, etc)
- (tr) archaic to defend or resist
- (intr) Scot and Northern English dialect to struggle; strive
- Scot and Northern English dialect a shift or effort
late 13c., shortening of defend. To fend for oneself (1620s) is to see to one’s own defense. Related: Fended; fending.