One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘they were unable to fend off a Viking invasion’
ward off, head off, stave off, hold off, keep off, repel, repulse, resist, forestall, pre-empt, fight off, defend oneself against, guard against, discourage, prevent, stop, put a stop to, block, intercept, halt, arrest, check, curb, hold back, baulk, foil, thwart, keep at bay, keep at arm's length
parry, turn aside, divert, deflect, avert
skirt round, dodge, duck, escape, evade
‘how could any mother leave a child to fend for itself?’
take care of oneself, look after oneself, provide for oneself, shift for oneself, manage by oneself, get by alone, get by without help, cope alone, cope unaided, stand on one's own two feet, hold one's own, make it on one's own
paddle one's own canoe
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