• WordNet 3.6
    • v contend maintain or assert "He contended that Communism had no future"
    • v contend have an argument about something
    • v contend to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation "They contested the outcome of the race"
    • v contend compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others
    • v contend be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight "the tribesmen fought each other","Siblings are always fighting","Militant groups are contending for control of the country"
    • v contend come to terms with "We got by on just a gallon of gas","They made do on half a loaf of bread every day"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: Medical researchers contend that no disease ever identified has been completely eradicated.
    • Contend To strive in debate; to engage in discussion; to dispute; to argue. "The question which our author would contend for.""Many things he fiercely contended about were trivial."
    • Contend To strive in opposition; to contest; to dispute; to vie; to quarrel; to fight. "For never two such kingdoms did contend Without much fall of blood.""The Lord said unto me, Distress not the Moabites, neither contend with them in battle.""In ambitious strength I did Contend against thy valor."
    • v. t Contend To struggle for; to contest. "Carthage shall contend the world with Rome.Dryden."
    • Contend To struggle or exert one's self to obtain or retain possession of, or to defend. "You sit above, and see vain men below Contend for what you only can bestow."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • contend To strive; struggle in opposition or emulation: used absolutely, or with against or with.
    • contend To endeavor; use earnest efforts, as for the purpose of obtaining, defending, preserving, etc.: usually with for before the object striven after.
    • contend To dispute earnestly; strive in debate; wrangle: as, the parties contend about trifles.
    • contend To dispute; contest.
    • contend To assert; affirm; maintain: as, I contend that the thing is impossible.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.i Contend kon-tend′ to strive: to struggle in emulation or in opposition: to dispute or debate (with against, for, with, about): to urge one's course
    • ***


  • Thomas Fuller
    “Never contend with one that is foolish, proud, positive, testy, or with a superior, or a clown, in matter of argument.”
  • Thomas Hobbes
    “War consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting; but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently known.”
  • Brian Tracy
    “Only by contending with challenges that seem to be beyond your strength to handle at the moment you can grow more surely toward the stars.”
  • Francis Bacon
    “Histories make men wise; poets, witty; the mathematics, subtle; natural philosophy, deep; moral, grave; logic and rhetoric, able to contend.”
  • Wallace Stevens
    “How has the human spirit ever survived the terrific literature with which it has had to contend?”
  • Baltasar Gracian
    “Never contend with a man who has nothing to lose.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OF. contendre, L. contendere, -tentum,; con-, + tendere, to strech. See Tend
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
L. contendĕre, -tentumcon, with, tendĕre, to stretch.


In literature:

What sufficient cause, what need Have the Achaians to contend with Troy?
"The Iliad of Homer" by Homer
We do not contend that possession of such knowledge would by any means wholly remedy the evil.
"Essays on Education and Kindred Subjects" by Herbert Spencer
It will not be contended that we are assuming a position beyond the capacities of learners, that the course here adopted is too philosophic.
"Lectures on Language" by William S. Balch
It was not only with the aborigines of their new country that the Spanish settlers in Chile had to contend.
"South America" by W. H. Koebel
Mr. F. contended, in opposition to such laws, that a man had a perfect right to do what he pleased with his own things.
"Secret Band of Brothers" by Jonathan Harrington Green
They contended that ministers opposed it only to screen their notorious incapacity under the shelter of his great name.
"The Life of Admiral Viscount Exmouth" by Edward Osler
Let us enumerate the principal chiefs of the contending parties, and make them known before we bring them into action.
"History of the Girondists, Volume I" by Alphonse de Lamartine
He is torn by contending feelings.
"Tales from the Hindu Dramatists" by R. N. Dutta
Now there was a period when he had no longer to contend with, or to fear, that opposition.
"The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. XII. (of XII.)" by Edmund Burke
Before the city, boys and youths contend On horseback.
"The Aeneid of Virgil" by Virgil

In poetry:

Here is a temple strangely wrought:
Within it I can see
Two spirits of a diverse thought
Contend for mastery.
"Fighting" by George MacDonald
Nature, with passion, long at strife,
Contended in his breast;
Till to expose his infant's life,
He form'd a deadly test!
"The Serpents" by William Hayley
It may be soa,--aw'll net contend,
Opinions should be free;--
Aw'm nobbut spaikin as a friend,--
But it seems that way to me.
"It May Be Soa" by John Hartley
But while thou liv'st, nor yield'st to Fate,
Contending without fear,
I will not tax with cruelty
The power that placed me here.
"The Resurrection" by Count Giacomo Leopardi
Then sorrowful that verse's end is,
Which can't procure a wife;
Though holding what we all contend is
The grand support of life.
"The Lover" by William Hutton
And then the landlord's daughter
Up to heaven raised her hand,
And said, Ye may no more contend,--
There lies the happiest land!
"The Happiest Land. (From The German)" by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

In news:

In GOP Field, Line Between Contenders and Pretenders is Now Clear.
"It's a good crop of 3-year-old fillies ," said Chad Brown, trainer of QEII contenders Samitar and Dayatthespa.
Nevada state director Diana Hollander and Maryland state director Leon Langley have already contended with such legislation.
Friends and colleagues have leaking roofs, broken windows and fallen trees to contend with, not just a lack of air conditioning and refrigeration.
They possess a legitimate Cy Young Award contender in Carlos Zambrano, whose candidacy the Mets will certainly endorse after last night.
NASCAR Sprint Cup title contender.
Insurers flout the law on autism, advocates contend.
GOP presidential contender Herman Cain (Gage Skidmore/Wikipedia Commons).
In addition to getting past built-in spam folders , marketers must contend with consumers themselves.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Minnesota contends a proposed constitutional amendment for a voter identification requirement is unnecessary, and it's using a cash reward to emphasize that point.
Researchers at anti-virus market leader Symantec join those who contend that security features built into Vista's kernel could retard innovation of new desktop defense technologies, and other aftermarket Windows applications.
I've discussed this in the context of drug discovery, which must contend with the ever-more-apparent reality that biology is incredibly complex, and science remarkably fragile .
A Canadian contends that a conspiracy covered up the true extent of the English explorer's voyage.
Barb Cox, a city hall worker in Plymouth, Minn. Shows a rejected ballot challenged by the campaign of Democratic Senate contender Al Franken.
NEW YORK — The idea of hiring unpaid interns this summer has become very appealing to small business owners contending with a difficult economy.

In science:

Desh contends that the observations of large differences in the optical depth on two lines of sight separated by a distance x0 are not due to “clouds” with physical sizes x0 , but rather to the statistics of the optical depth structure function in a medium with a spatial power law in neutral hydrogen density.
Small Ionized and Neutral Structures: A Theoretical Review
We discussed in Chapter 3 that inflation may be connected with unifying theories of high energy physics. A promising contender for a description of al l interactions including gravity is string theory, according to which the fundamental constituents of Nature are oscil lating strings instead of pointlike particles.
Primordial Fluctuations in String Cosmology
George Siemens contends that variety is a central requirement for learning, and that media choices should be made according to desired learning outcomes.
Graphically E-Learning introduction and its benefits in Virtual Learning
String theory is a leading contender for a theory of the ultraviolet (UV) completion of quantum field theory and gravity, and hence one within which Planck scale effects can be addressed.
Towards an Observational Appraisal of String Cosmology
Not only are flares invariably connected with magnetism in the photosphere, but an examination of the various candidate sources of energy reveals magnetic energy to be the only plausible contender (Tandberg-Hanssen & Emslie 1988).
High-Energy Aspects of Solar Flares: Overview of the Volume