Friday, January 13, 2017


Tend is a word all by itself. It means to bestow attention, to have a purpose, or to advance. It is based on the Latin word tendere, to stretch. That verb also contained the senses to strain or to strive.

Worth noting is that –tend was frequently used as a word part in combination with various prefixes. Some of the words in the following list are now obsolete, but they demonstrate the usefulness of this word part through the centuries.

·      attend:  To watch over something. [L. ad-, towards, + tendere, to stretch]
·      bartend: To serve drinks in a bar.[OF. barre, rigid piece of wood, + L. tendere, to stretch]
·      circumtend: To stretch around something.[L. circum-, around, + tendere, to stretch]
·      contend: To strive earnestly. [L. con-, with, + tendere, to stretch]
·      detend: To reduce the tension or the intensity of something. [L. de-, undo, + tendere, to stretch]
·      distend: To swell out. [L. dis-, away and out, + tendere, to stretch]
·      extend:  To expand or prolong.  [L. ex-, out, + tendere, to stretch]
·      intend:  To have a purpose. [L. in-, onward continuance, + tendere, to stretch]
·      mistend: To fail to give proper attention to something.  [L. mis-, badly, + tendere, to stretch]
·      obtend:  To proffer or put forward.  [L. ob-, in front of, + tendere, to stretch]
·      ostend:  To indicate directly.  [L. ob-, in front of, + tendere, to stretch]
·      portend:  To forecast or give warning. [L. por-, forward, + tendere, to stretch]
·      pretend:  To feign.  [L. pre-, before, + tendere, to stretch]
·      retend: To return.  [L. re-, again, + tendere, to stretch]
·      subtend: To form an angle; to underlie.  [L. sub-, under, + tendere, to stretch]
·      tend: To bestow attention; to have a purpose; to advance.  [L. tendere, to stretch]

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