Etymology 1Edit

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

Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English attenden, atenden, a borrowing 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.]
    • Sir Philip Sidney (1554-1586)
      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.]
  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) To wait upon as a servant etc.; to accompany to assist (someone). [from 15th c.]
    Valets attend to their employer's wardrobe.
    • Edmund Spenser (c.1552–1599)
      The fifth had charge sick persons to attend.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      Attends the emperor in his royal court.
    • Thomas Macaulay (1800-1859)
      With a sore heart and a gloomy brow, he prepared to attend William thither.
  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 April 27, 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 April 27, 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
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      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.
    • John Locke (1632-1705)
      the state that attends all men after this
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      Three days I promised to attend my doom.
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