con·tend / kənˈtend/ • v. 1. [intr.] (contend with/against) struggle to surmount (a difficulty or danger): she had to contend with his uncertain temper. ∎ (contend for) engage in a competition or campaign in order to win or achieve (something): the local team should contend for a division championship. 2. assert something as a position in an argument: he contends that the judge was wrong.DERIVATIVES: con·tend·er n.