contend

To defend a belief or keep affirming that it's true is to contend. People used to contend that the earth was flat, but eventually, when no one dropped off the edge no matter how far they traveled, the "round" theory won.

One of the meanings of contend is from the French "to strive with," and it is a literal fighting, as in "to contend with fists." Most contemporary uses of the verb contend illustrate competitions of proof or defense, where a person will contend that something is true, or better, or wrong. It is still a striving but more of a verbal kind, where what you contend is what you hope to convince others is correct.

Definitions of contend
  1. verb
    compete for something; engage in a contest; measure oneself against others
    synonyms: compete, vie
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 51 types...
    hide 51 types...
    go for, try for
    make an attempt at achieving something
    play
    participate in games or sport
    run off
    decide (a contest or competition) by a runoff
    race, run
    compete in a race
    rival
    be the rival of, be in competition with
    emulate
    compete with successfully; approach or reach equality with
    equal, match, rival, touch
    be equal to in quality or ability
    line up
    take one's position before a kick-off
    curl
    play the Scottish game of curling
    snooker
    leave one's opponent unable to take a direct shot
    revoke
    fail to follow suit when able and required to do so
    develop
    move into a strategically more advantageous position
    develop
    move one's pieces into strategically more advantageous positions
    die
    to be on base at the end of an inning, of a player
    misplay
    play wrong or in an unskillful manner
    start
    play in the starting lineup
    fumble
    drop or juggle or fail to play cleanly a grounder
    volley
    make a volley
    unblock
    play the cards of (a suit) so that the last trick on which a hand can follow suit will be taken by a higher card in the hand of a partner who has the remaining cards of a combined holding
    replay
    play again
    cricket
    play cricket
    backstop
    act as a backstop
    fullback
    play the fullback
    quarterback
    play the quarterback
    cradle
    run with the stick
    exit
    lose the lead
    play out
    play to a finish
    field
    play as a fielder
    catch
    be the catcher
    bully off, face off
    start a game by a face-off
    tee off
    strike a ball from the teeing ground at the start of a hole
    ace
    play (a hole) in one stroke
    show
    finish third or better in a horse or dog race
    place
    finish second or better in a horse or dog race
    boat-race
    participate in a boat race
    horse-race
    compete in a horse race
    campaign, run
    run, stand, or compete for an office or a position
    complete, nail
    complete a pass
    outrival, outvie
    be more of a rival than
    gamble
    play games for money
    walk
    give a base on balls to
    bowl
    engage in the sport of bowling
    golf
    play golf
    bandy
    toss or strike a ball back and forth
    foul
    commit a foul; break the rules
    put out
    retire
    croquet
    play a game in which players hit a wooden ball through a series of hoops
    putt
    hit a putt
    speed skate
    race on skates
    seesaw, teeter-totter, teetertotter
    ride on a plank
    bid, call
    make a demand, as for a card or a suit or a show of hands
  2. verb
    be engaged in a fight; carry on a fight
    “Militant groups are contending for control of the country”
    synonyms: fight, struggle
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 52 types...
    hide 52 types...
    bear down
    exert full strength
    fistfight
    fight with the fists
    join battle
    engage in a conflict
    tug
    struggle in opposition
    defend, fight, fight back, fight down, oppose
    fight against or resist strongly
    get back, settle
    get one's revenge for a wrong or an injury
    fight back
    defend oneself
    battle, combat
    battle or contend against in or as if in a battle
    war
    make or wage war
    assail, attack
    launch an attack or assault on; begin hostilities or start warfare with
    duel
    fight a duel, as over one's honor or a woman
    joust
    joust against somebody in a tournament by fighting on horseback
    chicken-fight, chickenfight
    fight while sitting on somebody's shoulders
    tourney
    engage in a tourney
    feud
    carry out a feud
    skirmish
    engage in a skirmish
    bandy
    exchange blows
    fence
    fight with fencing swords
    box
    engage in a boxing match
    spar
    fight with spurs
    scuffle, tussle
    fight or struggle in a confused way at close quarters
    wrestle
    engage in a wrestling match
    engage, wage
    carry on (wars, battles, or campaigns)
    recalcitrate
    show strong objection or repugnance; manifest vigorous opposition or resistance; be obstinately disobedient
    dogfight
    engage in an aerial battle with another fighter plane
    wrestle
    combat to overcome an opposing tendency or force
    blitzkrieg
    fight a quick and surprising war
    go to war, take arms, take up arms
    commence hostilities
    fend, resist, stand
    withstand the force of something
    hold out, resist, stand firm, withstand
    stand up or offer resistance to somebody or something
    submarine
    attack by submarine
    pelt, pepper
    attack and bombard with or as if with missiles
    tilt
    charge with a tilt
    hit, strike
    make a strategic, offensive, assault against an enemy, opponent, or a target
    counterattack, counterstrike
    make a counterattack
    gas
    attack with gas; subject to gas fumes
    storm, surprise
    attack by storm; attack suddenly
    blitz
    attack suddenly and without warning
    invade, occupy
    march aggressively into another's territory by military force for the purposes of conquest and occupation
    beleaguer, besiege, circumvent, hem in, surround
    surround so as to force to give up
    drive back, fight off, rebuff, repel, repulse
    force or drive back
    bomb, bombard
    throw bombs at or attack with bombs
    strafe
    attack with machine guns or cannon fire from a low-flying plane
    cannonade
    attack with cannons or artillery
    torpedo
    attack or hit with torpedoes
    block, deflect, parry
    impede the movement of (an opponent or a ball)
    spar
    box lightly
    prizefight
    box for a prize or money
    shadowbox
    go through boxing motions without an opponent
    mud-wrestle, mudwrestle
    wrestle in mud
    offer, provide, put up
    mount or put up
    bust, raid
    search without warning, make a sudden surprise attack on
  3. verb
    have an argument about something
    synonyms: argue, debate, fence
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 10 types...
    hide 10 types...
    stickle
    dispute or argue stubbornly (especially minor points)
    spar
    fight verbally
    bicker, brabble, niggle, pettifog, quibble, squabble
    argue over petty things
    altercate, argufy, dispute, quarrel, scrap
    have a disagreement over something
    oppose
    be against; express opposition to
    brawl, wrangle
    to quarrel noisily, angrily or disruptively
    spat
    engage in a brief and petty quarrel
    polemicise, polemicize, polemise, polemize
    engage in a controversy
    fall out
    have a breach in relations
    contest, repugn
    to make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation
    type of:
    converse, discourse
    carry on a conversation
  4. verb
    make the subject of dispute, contention, or litigation
    synonyms: contest, repugn
    see moresee less
    types:
    challenge, dispute, gainsay
    take exception to
    call
    challenge the sincerity or truthfulness of
    call
    challenge (somebody) to make good on a statement; charge with or censure for an offense
    type of:
    oppose
    be against; express opposition to
  5. verb
    maintain or assert
    “He contended that Communism had no future”
    synonyms: postulate
    see moresee less
    type of:
    claim
    assert or affirm strongly; state to be true or existing
  6. verb
    come to terms with
    synonyms: cope, deal, get by, grapple, make do, make out, manage
    see moresee less
    types:
    show 5 types...
    hide 5 types...
    extemporize, improvise
    manage in a makeshift way; do with whatever is at hand
    fend
    try to manage without help
    cut, hack
    be able to manage or manage successfully
    rub along, scrape along, scrape by, scratch along, squeak by, squeeze by
    manage one's existence barely
    cope with, match, meet
    satisfy or fulfill
    type of:
    act, move
    perform an action, or work out or perform (an action)
Word Family