Word of The Day for Wednesday, April 6, 2011


for•fend (fawr-FEND)  v
also forefend

1. to fend off, avert, or prevent
2. to defend, secure, or protect
3. to forbid
late 14c., Middle English forfenden, a hybrid from for- + fend, from L. defendere "to ward off", from de- "from, away" + -fendere "to strike, push," from PIE base *gwhen- "to strike, kill"

Synonyms: avert, block, divert, forestall, impede, obstruct, obviate, preclude, prevent, prohibit, restrain, stop
Related Words: offend, defend

Sentence Examples:
• When we can measure a character, we can forfend against surprises--discount virtues, exaggerate faults, strike a balance to our own ego; but when what you know is only a faint margin of what you don't know, a siren of the unknown beckons and lures and retreats. -The Freebooters of the Wilderness, Agnes C. Laut

• Telling herself that the only means to forfend senility was to be actively engaged in mental diversions, she nonetheless sought any diversion that she could, to ignore, if not discomfit, this paranoid erosion of sanity. -An Apostate: Nawin of Thais, by Steven Sills

• As soon as I can, I shall set off—but not to Europe. Heaven forfend! I shall go to America, to Arabia, to India—perchance I shall die somewhere on the way. At any rate, I am convinced that, thanks to storms and bad roads, that last consolation will not quickly be exhausted! - A Hero of Our Time, by M. Y. Lermontov

Sources: Dictionary.com, Online Etymology

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

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