From Middle English onfangen, onfon(to receive, accept), from Old English onfōn, ondfōn(to receive, accept, perceive), from Proto-Germanic *and- + *fanhaną(to accept), from Proto-Indo-European *ph₂ḱ-(to fasten, fix, stick), equivalent to and- +‎ fang. Cognate with West Frisian ûntfange(to receive), Dutch ontvangen(to receive), German empfangen(to receive, welcome), Icelandic aðfang(input, supply), Latin pangō(fix, fasten, drive in), Old English ġefangian(to fasten, join). More at un-, fang.


onfang (third-person singular simple present onfangs, present participle onfanging, simple past and past participle onfanged)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To receive; welcome.
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To accept; endure.
  3. (transitive, obsolete) (of a woman) To conceive.