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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.