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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English attenden, atenden, from Old French atendre (to attend, listen), from Latin attendere (to stretch toward, give heed to), from ad (to) + tendere (to stretch); see tend and compare attempt.


attend (third-person singular simple present attends, present participle attending, simple past and past participle attended)

  1. (archaic, transitive) To listen to (something or someone); to pay attention to; regard; heed. [from 15th c.]
    • (Can we date this quote?) Sir Philip Sidney
      The diligent pilot in a dangerous tempest doth not attend the unskilful words of the passenger.
  2. (archaic, intransitive) To listen (to, unto). [from 15th c.]
    • Rudyard Kipling, The Beginning of the Armadillos
      'Now attend to me,' said Painted Jaguar, 'because this is very important. []
  3. (intransitive) To turn one's consideration (to); to deal with (a task, problem, concern etc.), to look after. [from 15th c.]
    Secretaries attend to correspondence.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 15, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Edward Churchill still attended to his work in a hopeless mechanical manner like a sleep-walker who walks safely on a well-known round. But his Roman collar galled him, his cossack stifled him, his biretta was as uncomfortable as a merry-andrew's cap and bells.
  4. (transitive, intransitive) To wait upon as a servant etc.; to accompany to assist (someone). [from 15th c.]
    Valets attend to their employer's wardrobe.
  5. (transitive) To be present at (an event or place) in order to take part in some action or proceedings; to regularly go to (an event or place). [from 17th c.]
    Children must attend primary school.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 5, in The Celebrity:
      In the eyes of Mr. Farquhar Fenelon Cooke the apotheosis of the Celebrity was complete. The people of Asquith were not only willing to attend the house-warming, but had been worked up to the pitch of eagerness. The Celebrity as a matter of course was master of ceremonies.
    • 1994, Nelson Mandela, Long Walk to Freedom, Abacus 2010, p. 20:
      I attended a one-room school next door to the palace and studied English, Xhosa, history and geography.
  6. (intransitive, law) To go to (a place) for some purpose (with at).
    • 2011, Supreme Court of Canada, R. v. Côté[1], retrieved 2016-05-08:
      Around 12:15 a.m. patrolling officers Tremblay and Mathieu attended at the appellant’s home.
    • 2016, Prince Edward Island Court of Appeal, R. v. Yeo[2], retrieved 2016-05-08:
      There were a few errors in the testimony of [a civilian witness] which the trial judge noted – one, that they attended at the Fairhurst residence the day before the robbery, and two, that Wakelin was with them.
  7. To be present with; to accompany; to be united or consequent to.
    a measure attended with ill effects
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
      What cares must then attend the toiling swain.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The most rapid and most seductive transition in all human nature is that which attends the palliation of a ravenous appetite. There is something humiliating about it. [] Can those harmless but refined fellow-diners be the selfish cads whose gluttony and personal appearance so raised your contemptuous wrath on your arrival?
  8. To wait for; to await; to remain, abide, or be in store for.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Locke
      the state that attends all men after this
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Dryden
      Three days I promised to attend my doom.
Related termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English attenden, atenden, from Old English ātendan (to set on fire, kindle, inflame, trouble, perplex), equivalent to a- +‎ tend.


attend (third-person singular simple present attends, present participle attending, simple past and past participle attended)

  1. Alternative form of atend ("to kindle").
Related termsEdit






  1. present participle of atten


Inflection of attend
uninflected attend
inflected attende
predicative/adverbial attend
indefinite m./f. sing. attende
n. sing. attend
plural attende
definite attende
partitive attends