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Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • intransitive v. To strive in opposition or against difficulties; struggle: armies contending for control of strategic territory; had to contend with long lines at the airport.
  • intransitive v. To compete, as in a race; vie.
  • intransitive v. To strive in controversy or debate; dispute. See Synonyms at discuss.
  • transitive v. To maintain or assert: The defense contended that the evidence was inadmissible.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to strive in opposition; to contest; to dispute; to vie; to quarrel; to fight.
  • v. to struggle or exert one's self to obtain or retain possession of, or to defend.
  • v. to strive in debate; to engage in discussion; to dispute; to argue.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To strive in opposition; to contest; to dispute; to vie; to quarrel; to fight.
  • intransitive v. To struggle or exert one's self to obtain or retain possession of, or to defend.
  • intransitive v. To strive in debate; to engage in discussion; to dispute; to argue.
  • transitive v. To struggle for; to contest.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To strive; struggle in opposition or emulation: used absolutely, or with against or with.
  • To endeavor; use earnest efforts, as for the purpose of obtaining, defending, preserving, etc.: usually with for before the object striven after.
  • To dispute earnestly; strive in debate; wrangle: as, the parties contend about trifles.
  • To dispute; contest.
  • To assert; affirm; maintain: as, I contend that the thing is impossible.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. come to terms with
  • v. to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation
  • v. have an argument about something
  • v. compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others
  • v. be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight
  • v. maintain or assert

Etymologies

Middle English contenden, from Latin contendere : com-, com- + tendere, to stretch, strive; see ten- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From contendere ("to stretch out, extend, strive after, contend"), from com- ("together") + tendere ("to stretch"); see tend, and compare attend, extend, intend, subtend. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Sources at the label contend that Apple's submission was a work-in-progress, not a completed recording.

    THE NEWS BLOG

  • (Soundbite of protest) SCHAPER: After the searches, hundreds of anti-war activists protested outside of FBI headquarters in Minneapolis, Chicago, and other cities to denounce what they contend is an effort to squash free speech against U.S. policy.

    FBI Targets Peace Activists For Alleged Terrorism Support

  • THE GOOD NEWS: The Vols should again contend for an SEC title and have a good chance to make a deep NCAA Tournament run next year with a nice nucleus and a solid recruiting class.

    Tennessee - Team Notes

  • The Huskies spent the spring looking to solidify its rotation and figure out how much depth it had at key positions, and it heads into the summer months optimistic that it will again contend in the Big East.

    Around the BigEast Conference

  • Despite all of the external pressures, the clampdown on dissent, while not as black and white as right-wing US politicians and newspaper editorialists contend, is neither necessary nor defensible to protect the gains of the revolution.

    Archive 2009-01-01

  • Among those too far back to contend is Padraig Harrington, whose hopes of a third straight claret jug ended with a 76.

    Can this happen? Watson keeps lead at British Open

  • The rest, I contend, is the easy part, although I am sure that those who consider themselves “winemakers” might object to that conclusion.

    The New York Cork Report:

  • So Andy, yes, as Chairman Mao said, “Letting a hundred flowers blossom and a hundred schools of thought contend is the policy for promoting progress in the arts and the sciences and a flourishing socialist culture in our land.”

    Will Google Win When Microsoft Kills Office 2000?

  • In short, they intend to destroy present-day society, which they contend is run in the interest of another class, and from the materials to construct a new society, which will be run in their interest.

    THE CLASS STRUGGLE

  • The plaintiffs, described in court papers as immigrants with little to no fluency in English, contend they were misled into paying a franchise fee as high as $30,000 to win cleaning jobs.

    Franchisees: We're Employees, Not Contractors

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