"to presage, foreshadow, signify in advance," early 15c., portenden, from Latin portendere "foretell, reveal; point out, indicate," originally "to stretch forward," from por- (variant of pro-; see pro-) "forth, forward" + tendere "to stretch, extend," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." The literal Latin sense "stretch forth, extend" was occasional in English 17c.-18c. Related: Portended; portending.
early 15c., "to offer, hand over; extend, stretch out," from Latin porrectus, past participle of porrigere "to stretch or spread out; reach out to, offer, present," from *por-, variation of pro "before, for" (see pro-) + regere "to lead straight, rule" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). Surviving, if at all, in ecclesiastical legal language. Related: Porrection.
1610s, "anything spread out;" 1640s, "act of expanding," from French expansion, from Late Latin expansionem (nominative expansio) "a spreading out," noun of action from past-participle stem of Latin expandere "to spread out, unfold, expand," from ex "out" (see ex-) + pandere "to spread, stretch" (from nasalized form of PIE root *pete- "to spread").
1730, "capable of being shown, that can be shown or seen, presentable," from French ostensible, from Latin ostens-, past-participle stem of ostendere "to show, expose to view; to stretch out, spread before; exhibit, display," from assimilated form of ob "in front of" (see ob-) + tendere "to stretch," from PIE root *ten- "to stretch." Meaning "apparent, professed, put forth or held out as real" is from 1771.
Ostensible is, literally, that may be or is held out as true, real, actual, or intended, but may or may not be so: thus, a person's ostensible motive for some action is the motive that appears to the observer, and is held out to him as the real motive, which it may or may not be. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
mid-15c., "engage in rivalry, compete," from Old French contendre and directly from Latin contendere "to stretch out; to shoot, hurl, throw; strive after mentally; measure or try one's strength with, fight, vie with," from assimilated form of com-, here perhaps an intensive prefix (see com-), + tendere "to stretch" (from PIE root *ten- "to stretch"). From 1540s as "to assert, affirm, maintain." Related: Contended; contending.