fend(redirected from fends)
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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.
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.
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.
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
fend for oneself Go to shift for
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.
shift for oneselfand 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.
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.
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.
To protect from something: We wear heavy parkas to fend against the cold wind.
See also: fend
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.
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.
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.