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fend against (something)

To guard against or ward something off. That's why you get an alarm system—to fend against burglars.
See also: fend

fend and prove

dated To argue and defend a point or opinion. I was forced to fend and prove my stance before the tribunal.
See also: and, fend, prove

fend away

To turn away or deny; to keep something at bay; to fight or ward off. The governor fended away questions about his role in the money laundering scandal. I fended away the blows of my attackers.
See also: away, fend

fend for (oneself)

To look after or take care of oneself without assistance from anyone else. Moving to a new country for college really made me learn to fend for myself. I won't be home from work until about 9 o'clock, so you and your sister will have to fend for yourselves for dinner. You're going to have to learn to fend for yourself before you head off to college.
See also: fend, for

fend off

1. To fight off someone or something that is advancing. A noun or pronoun can be used between "fend" and "off." What is the best way to fend off an attacker? Her bodyguards tried to fend off all the photographers, but there were too many.
2. To try to prevent something. A noun or pronoun can be used between "fend" and "off." Getting a flu shot will help you to fend off future illness.
See also: fend, off
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

fend for oneself Go to shift for

See also: fend, for, go, shift, to

fend someone or something off

to hold someone or something off; to fight someone or something off. We knew we could fend them off only a little while longer. They could not fend off the attackers.
See also: fend, off

shift for oneself

 and fend for oneself
to get along by oneself; to support oneself. I'm sorry, I can't pay your rent anymore. You'll just have to shift for yourself. When I became twenty years old, I left home and began to fend for myself.
See also: for, shift
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

shift for oneself

Also, fend for oneself. Provide for one's own needs, as in Don't worry about Anne; she's very good at shifting for herself, or The children had to fend for themselves after school. The first term, using shift in the now obsolete sense of "manage," was first recorded about 1513; the variant, using fend for in the sense of "look after," was first recorded in 1629.
See also: for, shift
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

fend against

To protect from something: We wear heavy parkas to fend against the cold wind.
See also: fend

fend for

To provide for, take care of, or defend someone without assistance: We watched the bear fending for her cubs as the hunters approached. I had to fend for myself when I arrived in Europe alone.
See also: fend, for

fend off

1. To try to prevent something; avert something: To fend off cavities, brush your teeth regularly.
2. To turn something aside; repel something: The troops fended the enemy off. My neighbor fended off the reporters who blocked her driveway.
See also: fend, off
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in periodicals archive ?
FOO FIGHTER Dave Grohl managed to fend off a viral throat infection to perform at Radio 1's One Big Weekend.
Males must fend off "floaters"--homeless males that try to move in.
Pippin felt the call of the wild, and left his adoptive family to fend for himself--what new adventures could be in store for him?
In 2001 alone, about 2.5 million children were orphaned by AIDS and left to fend for themselves.
Together Ada and Ruby develop the farm, make use of the land, fend off the predators, both human and animal, while they wait for Inman's return from the war.
Bavaria is growing in order to fend off a possible takeover by Brazil's Ambev, which has been buying out breweries throughout the region.
If investors were shell-shocked last year when Dale Bryant, founder and portfolio manager of The Bryant Group, a money management firm in New York City, offered up defensive stock picks to fend off market volatility, they might be feeling a bit better if they followed his strategy.
The system was developed to fend off the growing breed of viruses that spread through the Internet by infecting not end-user PCs but the servers that drive the web.
That was a brief moment when it appeared possible for Third World countries to fend off the U.S.
Cisco wants to offer faster versions of its most expensive switches and routers to fend off competition from Lucent Technologies Inc., Juniper Networks Inc.
Parents cannot always feed their children and leave them on the streets to fend for themselves.
Here's the good news in this report: the most promising tool currently available to fend off overtraining isn't complicated or expensive, and it doesn't require a sophisticated laboratory or highly trained personnel.
96-1940 (CA-7, July 2, 1997), the investment advisory fees a company pays to fend off a hostile takeover are deductible, while those it pays to facilitate the ultimate merger must be capitalized.
Rather than accept offers to trim it back, Lawson plans to guy the trunks together to fend off challengers to its champion status.
figure By CHARLES WANYORO A 33-year-old farmer who was caught with game meat has pleaded with a magistrate's court to set him free, saying he hunted the animals to save his family from starving.Mr Sammy Mwenda pleaded guilty to having three carcasses of the lesser kudu, suspected to have been hunted in the Meru National Park, saying he did it to fend for his family.