American Dictionary of the English Language

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FEND, verb transitive [The root of defend and offend. The primary sense is to fall on, or to strike, to repel.]

To keep off; to prevent from entering; to ward off; to shut out.

With fern beneath to fend the bitter cold.

It is usually followed by off; as, to fend off blows.

To fend off a boat or vessel, is to prevent its running against another, or against a wharf, etc., with too much violence.

FEND, verb intransitive To act in opposition; to resist; to parry; to shift off.