Fend for yourself


      • take care of oneself
        To rely on one's own abilities and resources to survive or succeed, without any help or support from others

      • protect oneself
        To defend or guard oneself from harm, danger, or difficulty, without assistance or aid from others

    Examples of Fend for yourself

    • John's parents moved to another state, leaving him behind to finish his senior year of high school. His parents explained that they could no longer afford to support him and that it was time for him to fend for himself.

      In this example, fend for yourself means that John is now responsible for taking care of himself financially, emotionally, and physically. His parents are no longer able to provide him with the resources and support he needs, so he has to learn how to survive on his own. This could include finding a job to cover his living expenses, cooking his own meals, and making important decisions about his future without consulting his parents. Essentially, fend for yourself implies that one is now an adult and must assume the responsibilities and duties that come with being self-sufficient.

    • John was stranded in the wilderness after his plane crash. The rescue team was days away, and there was no one around to help him. "You're going to have to fend for yourself until we can reach you," said the rescue coordinator over the radio.

      In this example, the idiom "fend for yourself" is used to mean that John has to take care of himself independently because there is no one else available to help him.

    • After losing her job, Sarah's savings account dwindled, and her bills piled up. She couldn't rely on her ex-husband for financial support, so she had to fend for herself until she could land a new job.

      In this example, "fend for yourself" is used in the context of financial independence. Sarah has to handle her financial situation on her own until she can find a new source of income.

    • Mark's girlfriend moved out of their apartment suddenly, leaving him alone with their two cats. He didn't know how to take care of them, but he knew he had to fend for himself and his furry companions until he could figure out a new living situation.

      In this example, "fend for yourself" is used in the context of caring for oneself and others in a difficult situation. Mark has to take on the responsibility of caring for his cats by himself until he can find a solution to his living situation.

    • Lily's parents passed away a few years ago, and she had to learn how to fend for herself in many aspects of her life, from balancing her checkbook to fixing a leaky faucet.

      In this example, "fend for yourself" is used to mean that Lily has to handle various aspects of her life independently, since she no longer has her parents to help her.


    The idiom "fend for yourself" is typically used to indicate that someone is responsible for their own well-being and must rely on their own skills and resources to navigate a situation. It can also convey a sense of independence and self-sufficiency, as well as the idea that one must be able to handle challenges or obstacles without assistance.

    Origin of "Fend for yourself"

    The origin of this idiom is unclear, but it is believed to have originated in the mid-19th century in America. The word "fend" comes from the Old English word "fendan" meaning "to defend or protect," and "for" in this context means "on behalf of oneself." Together, the phrase "fend for yourself" suggests taking care of oneself and being self-reliant.

    In earlier times, the phrase may have been used more literally, to refer to defending oneself in physical or survival situations. However, over time it has evolved to also include the idea of being self-sufficient in various aspects of life, such as financial, emotional, or social. It is often used in a figurative sense, as a way to encourage someone to be more independent or responsible for their own actions.

    Overall, the idiom "fend for yourself" highlights the importance of self-reliance and taking care of oneself in order to succeed and overcome challenges in life. It can also serve as a reminder to not always rely on others and to be able to stand on one's own.