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contend (v.)

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.

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Definitions of contend from WordNet

contend (v.)
maintain or assert;
He contended that Communism had no future
Synonyms: postulate
contend (v.)
have an argument about something;
Synonyms: argue / debate / fence
contend (v.)
to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation;
Synonyms: contest / repugn
contend (v.)
succeed in doing, achieving, or producing (something) with the limited or inadequate means available;
Synonyms: cope / get by / make out / make do / grapple / deal / manage
contend (v.)
compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others;
Synonyms: compete / vie
contend (v.)
be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight;
Militant groups are contending for control of the country
Synonyms: fight / struggle
From wordnet.princeton.edu