fend

If you get along on your own, with no assistance from another person, you can say that you fend for yourself.

A solo hiker on the Appalachian Trail fends for herself, managing the challenges without help. When the verb fend is used this way, it is almost always followed by "for oneself" or "for himself" or "for herself," and it's been in use since the 1600's. It originated as a shortened form of the verb defend, from the Latin root defendere, "to ward off, protect, or guard."

Definitions of fend
  1. verb
    try to manage without help
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    type of:
    contend, cope, deal, get by, grapple, make do, make out, manage
    come to terms with
  2. verb
    withstand the force of something
    “The mountain climbers had to fend against the ice and snow”
    synonyms: resist, stand
    remain firm, stand
    hold one's ground; maintain a position; be steadfast or upright
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    type of:
    defend, fight, fight back, fight down, oppose
    fight against or resist strongly
Word Family