Etymology
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obtain (v.)

early 15c., obteinen, "to get or acquire, inherit, gain, conquer," from Old French obtenir "acquire, obtain" (14c.) and directly from Latin obtinere "hold, hold fast, take hold of, get possession of, acquire," from ob "in front of" (though perhaps intensive in this case; see ob-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"). Intransitive sense of "be prevalent or customary, be established in practice" is from 1610s. Related: Obtained; obtaining.

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tenable (adj.)

"capable of being held or maintained," 1570s, from French tenable (12c.), from tenir "to hold," from Latin tenere "to hold, keep" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").

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capable (adj.)

"sufficiently able, having power or capacity, qualified," 1590s, from French capable "able, sufficient; able to hold," or directly from Late Latin capabilis "receptive; able to grasp or hold," used by theologians, from Latin capax "able to hold much, broad, wide, roomy;" also "receptive, fit for;" adjectival form of capere "to grasp, lay hold, take, catch; undertake; take in, hold; be large enough for; comprehend" (from PIE root *kap- "to grasp"). Other late 16c. senses in English, now obsolete, were "able to comprehend; able to contain; extensive." Related: Capably.

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sustentation (n.)

late 14c., sustentacioun, "quality of being able to hold or support (someone or something); maintenance or continuance (of something)," from Anglo-French, Old French sustentacion, sostentacion "sustaining of life," from Latin sustentationem (nominative sustentatio) "maintenance," noun of action from past participle stem of sustentare "hold upright; feed, nourish, support; hold out, endure, suffer," frequentative of sustinere "to hold up" (see sustain). The sense of "support, preservation from falling or sinking" is by c. 1400. Related: Sustentative.

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detain (v.)

early 15c. (implied in deteined), "keep back or away, withhold," from Old French detenir "to hold off, keep back" (12c.), from Latin detinere "hold off, keep back," from de "from, away" (see de-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").

Legal sense of "to hold in custody" is from late 15c. (late 13c. in Anglo-French). Meaning "keep or restrain from proceeding" is from 1590s. Modern spelling is 17c., from influence of contain, retain, etc. Related: Detained; detaining.

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synechia (n.)

plural synechiae, "morbid union of parts, especially of the eye," 1842, medical Latin, from Greek synekheia "continuity," from synekhes "continuous," from syn "together" (see syn-) + ekhein "to hold" (from PIE root *segh- "to hold").

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fermata (n.)

1876, musical term indicating a pause or hold, Italian, literally "a stop, a pause," from fermare "to fasten, to stop," from fermo "strong, fastened," from Latin firmus "strong; stable" (from suffixed form of PIE root *dher- "to hold firmly, support").

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tenet (n.)

"principle, opinion, or dogma maintained as true by a person, sect, school, etc.," properly "a thing held (to be true)," early 15c., from Latin tenet "he holds," third person singular present indicative of tenere "to hold, grasp, keep, have possession, maintain," also "reach, gain, acquire, obtain; hold back, repress, restrain;" figuratively "hold in mind, take in, understand," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." The connecting notion between "stretch" and "hold" is "cause to maintain." The modern sense is probably because tenet was used in Medieval Latin to introduce a statement of doctrine.

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retain (v.)

late 14c., "continue keeping of, keep possession of, keep attached to one's person;"  early 15c., "hold back, restrain" (a sense now obsolete); from Old French retenir "keep, retain; take into feudal service; hold back; remember" (12c.), from Latin retinere "hold back, keep back, detain, restrain," from re- "back" (see re-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch").

The meaning "to engage to keep (another) attached to one's person, keep in service" is from mid-15c.; specifically of lawyers from 1540s. Meaning "keep in the mind, preserve knowledge or an idea of" is from c. 1500. Related: Retained; retaining.

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continent (adj.)
Origin and meaning of continent

late 14c., "self-restraining, temperate, abstemious," especially "abstaining from or moderate in sexual intercourse," from Old French continent and directly from Latin continentem (nominative continens) "holding together, continuous," present participle of continere "to hold back, check," also "hold together, enclose," from assimilated form of com "with, together" (see con-) + tenere "to hold" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"). In reference to bladder control, 1899. Related: Continently.

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