attend

\ \ [13] Etymologically, attend means ‘stretch to’. It comes originally from Latin attendere, a compound verb formed from the prefix ad- ‘to’ and tenderestretch’ (a descendant of an Indo-European base *ten-, *ton- ‘stretch’ which also produced, among others, Latin tenērehold’ – source of English contain, maintain, obtain, etc – and English tendon, thin, and tone). By metaphorical extension ‘stretch to’ became ‘direct one’s attention to’, which was the original meaning of the verb in Old French atendre and subsequently in English. The sense ‘take care of’ developed in the 15th century, ‘be present’ much later, in the 17th century. The noun derivative attention [14] comes from Latin attentiō. Tend meaning ‘look after’ comes mainly from attend, but also partly from intend, in both cases with loss of the first syllable.
\ \ Cf.CONTAIN, MAINTAIN, OBTAIN, TENDON, THIN, TONE

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • Attend — At*tend , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Attended}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Attending}.] [OE. atenden, OF. atendre, F. attendre, to expect, to wait, fr. L. attendre to stretch, (sc. animum), to apply the mind to; ad + tendere to stretch. See {Tend}.] 1. To direct …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Attend — At*tend , v. i. 1. To apply the mind, or pay attention, with a view to perceive, understand, or comply; to pay regard; to heed; to listen; usually followed by to. [1913 Webster] Attend to the voice of my supplications. Ps. lxxxvi. 6. [1913… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • attend — [v1] be present at appear, be a guest, be at, be present, be there, bob up*, catch, check in, clock in*, come to light*, drop in, frequent, go to, haunt, make an appearance, make it*, make the scene*, pop up*, punch in*, punch the clock*, ring… …   New thesaurus

  • attend — at‧tend [əˈtend] verb [intransitive, transitive] to go to an event such as a meeting: • The two men both attended a 90 minute board meeting yesterday. • a conference attended by 200 people * * * attend UK US /əˈtend/ verb [I or T] ► MEETINGS to… …   Financial and business terms

  • attend to — (someone) to give care to someone who is ill. Malone flew home to attend to his wife, who was in the hospital …   New idioms dictionary

  • attend — ► VERB 1) be present at. 2) go regularly to (a school, church, etc). 3) (attend to) deal with or pay attention to. 4) occur at the same time as or as a result of. 5) escort and wait on (an important person). DERIVATIVES …   English terms dictionary

  • attend — [ə tend′] vt. [ME attenden < OFr atendre, to wait, expect < L attendere, to stretch toward, give heed to < ad , to + tendere, stretch: see THIN] 1. Now Rare to take care or charge of; look after 2. a) to wait on; minister to; serve b) to …   English World dictionary

  • attend — I (accompany) verb be associated with, be connected with, go along with II (be present at) verb frequent, go to, visit III (heed) verb be attentive to, give heed to, listen, mark, mind, note, notice, take notice of IV ( …   Law dictionary

  • attend to — index assume (undertake), care (regard), concern (care), hear (give attention to), heed …   Law dictionary

  • attend — (v.) c.1300, to direct one s mind or energies, from O.Fr. atendre (12c., Mod.Fr. attendre) to expect, wait for, pay attention, and directly from L. attendere give heed to, lit. to stretch toward, from ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + tendere stretch… …   Etymology dictionary

  • attend to — (something) to deal with something. Firefighters attended to a smoking car outside the building …   New idioms dictionary

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