"to proceed on, to direct (one's course or way)," Old English wendan "to turn, direct, go; convert, translate," from Proto-Germanic *wandeja- (source also of Old Saxon wendian, Old Norse venda, Swedish vända, Old Frisian wenda, Dutch wenden, German wenden, Gothic wandjan "to turn"), causative of PIE *wendh- "to turn, wind, weave" (see wind (v.1)). Surviving only in wend one's way, and in hijacked past tense form went. It is related to wander.
early 14c., "to remove from one place to another," also "to turn from one language to another," from Old French translater and directly from Latin translatus "carried over," serving as past participle of transferre "to bring over, carry over" (see transfer), from trans "across, beyond" (see trans-) + lātus "borne, carried" (see oblate (n.)). Related: Translated; translating. A similar notion is behind the Old English word it replaced, awendan, from wendan "to turn, direct" (see wend).
The past tense forms of wend were wende, wended, but variants wente, went developed from c. 1200 as part of a Middle English pattern in which the -d of the past tense past participle becomes -t after -t-, -p-, -s-, -f-, in some cases -l- and -n- (also compare keep/kept, leave/left, gird/girt, build/built, feel/felt, dwell/dwelt, Middle English kissen/kiste, etc.
Went began to replace older past tenses of go in Middle English. By c. 1500 they were fully employed in that function, and wend retained the past tense form wended.
It forms all or part of: vanadium; Vanir; venerate; veneration; venerable; venereal; venery (n.1) "pursuit of sexual pleasure;" venery (n.2) "hunting, the sports of the chase;" venial; venison; venom; Venus; wean; ween; Wend "Slavic people of eastern Germany;" win; winsome; wish; wont; wynn.
It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit veti "follows after," vanas- "desire," vanati "desires, loves, wins;" Avestan vanaiti "he wishes, is victorious;" Latin venerari "to worship," venus "love, sexual desire; loveliness, beauty;" Old English wynn "joy," wunian "to dwell," wenian "to accustom, train, wean," wyscan "to wish."
"move by turning and twisting," Old English windan "to turn, twist, plait, curl, brandish, swing" (class III strong verb; past tense wand, past participle wunden), from Proto-Germanic *windan "to wind" (source also of Old Saxon windan, Old Norse vinda, Old Frisian winda, Dutch winden, Old High German wintan, German winden, Gothic windan "to wind"), from PIE *wendh- "to turn, wind, weave" (source also of Latin viere "twist, plait, weave," vincire "bind;" Lithuanian vyti "twist, wind").
Related to wend, which is its causative form, and to wander. The past tense and past participle merged in Middle English. Meaning "to twine, entwine oneself around" is from 1590s; transitive sense of "turn or twist round and round (on something) is from c. 1300. Meaning "set a watch, clockwork, etc. in operating mode by tightening its spring" is from c. 1600. Wind down "come to a conclusion" is recorded from 1952; wind up "come to a conclusion" is from 1825; earlier in transitive sense "put (affairs) in order in advance of a final settlement" (1780). Winding sheet "shroud of a corpse" is attested from early 15c.
Old English gan "to advance, walk; depart, go away; happen, take place; conquer; observe, practice, exercise," from West Germanic *gaian (source also of Old Saxon, Old Frisian gan, Middle Dutch gaen, Dutch gaan, Old High German gan, German gehen), from PIE root *ghē- "to release, let go; be released" (source also of Sanskrit jihite "goes away," Greek kikhano "I reach, meet with"), but there does not seem to be general agreement on a list of cognates.
A defective verb throughout its recorded history; the Old English past tense was eode, a word of uncertain origin but evidently once a different verb (perhaps connected to Gothic iddja); it was replaced 1400s by went, past tense of wenden "to direct one's way" (see wend). In northern England and Scotland, however, eode tended to be replaced by gaed, a construction based on go. In modern English, only be and go take their past tenses from entirely different verbs.
The word in its various forms and combinations takes up 45 columns of close print in the OED. Meaning "cease to exist" is from c. 1200; that of "to appear" (with reference to dress, appearance, etc.) is from late 14c.; that of "to be sold" is from early 15c. Meaning "to be known" (with by) is from 1590s; that of "pass into another condition or state" is from 1580s. From c. 1600 as "to wager," hence also "to stand treat," and to go (someone) better in wagering (1864). Meaning "say" emerged 1960s in teen slang. Colloquial meaning "urinate or defecate" attested by 1926, euphemistic (compare Old English gong "a privy," literally "a going").
To go back on "prove faithless to" is from 1859; to go under in the figurative sense "to fail" is from 1849. To go places "be successful" is by 1934.