November 26th, 2021

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  • med_cat

Friday word: Forfend

forfend (fawr-FEND) - v., to defend, ward, protect; avert, prevent; (arch.) forbid.

In current use, this is confined to set expressions such as "heaven forfend." The forbid meaning is the original, back when the word was Middle English forfenden, with the -fend part being also the root of to fend off (which goes back via Anglo-Norman to Latin fendō, to thrust) and defend (which goes back also via Anglo-Norman to Latin dēfendō, to ward off). The for- part is typically away/off, but serving here as an intensifier.

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