To struggle or exert one's self to obtain or retain possession of, or to defend.
Origin of Contend
From Old French contendre, from Latin contendere (“to stretch out, extend, strive after, contend”), from com- (“together”) + tendere (“to stretch”); see tend, and compare attend, extend, intend, subtend.
Middle English contenden from Latin contendere com- com- tendere to stretch, strive ten- in Indo-European roots
From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
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