v. con·tend·ed, con·tend·ing, con·tends
1. To strive in opposition or against difficulties; struggle: armies contending for control of territory; had to contend with long lines at the airport.
2. To strive in competition, as in a race; vie: two runners contending for the lead.
3. To strive in controversy or debate; dispute.
To assert or maintain: The defense contended that the evidence was inadmissible.
[Middle English contenden, from Latin contendere : com-, com- + tendere, to stretch, strive; see ten- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.