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From Latin obtendere, obtentum (to stretch or place before or against), from ob (see ob-) + tendere (to stretch).



obtend (third-person singular simple present obtends, present participle obtending, simple past and past participle obtended)

  1. (obsolete) To oppose; to hold out in opposition.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Dryden to this entry?)
  2. (obsolete) To offer as the reason for something; to pretend.

"'T was giv'n to you, your darling son to shroud,
To draw the dastard from the fighting crowd,
And, for a man, obtend an empty cloud."[1]

Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.
(See the entry for obtend in
Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.)


  1. ^ Dryden, John, The Works of Virgil: Containing his Pastorals, Georgics, and Aeneis. London: Jacob Tonson, 1697. Book X, line 124-126.