Etymology
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fender (n.)

late 13c., shortening of defender. Originally something hung over the side to protect the hull of a ship at a wharf, pier, etc. Of fireplaces since 1680s; of automobiles from 1919. Fender-bender "minor automobile accident" is from 1958.

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Definitions of fender

fender (n.)
a barrier that surrounds the wheels of a vehicle to block splashing water or mud;
in Britain they call a fender a wing
Synonyms: wing
fender (n.)
an inclined metal frame at the front of a locomotive to clear the track;
Synonyms: buffer / cowcatcher / pilot
fender (n.)
a low metal guard to confine falling coals to a hearth;
fender (n.)
a cushion-like device that reduces shock due to an impact;
Synonyms: buffer
From wordnet.princeton.edu