[ uh-tend ]
See synonyms for attend on
verb (used with object)
  1. to be present at: to attend a lecture; to attend church.

  2. to go with as a concomitant or result; accompany: Fever may attend a cold. Success attended her hard work.

  1. to take care of; minister to; devote one's services to: The nurse attended the patient daily.

  2. to wait upon; accompany as a companion or servant: The retainers attended their lord.

  3. to take charge of; watch over; look after; tend; guard: to attend one's health.

  4. to listen to; give heed to.

  5. Archaic. to wait for; expect.

verb (used without object)
  1. to take care or charge: to attend to a sick person.

  2. to apply oneself: to attend to one's work.

  1. to pay attention; listen or watch attentively; direct one's thought; pay heed: to attend to a speaker.

  2. to be present: She is a member but does not attend regularly.

  3. to be present and ready to give service; wait (usually followed by on or upon): to attend upon the Queen.

  4. to follow; be consequent (usually followed by on or upon).

  5. Obsolete. to wait.

Origin of attend

First recorded in 1250–1300; Middle English atenden, from Anglo-French, Old French atendre, from Latin attendere “to bend to, notice,” from at- at- + tendere “to stretch, extend, proceed”; cf. tend1

synonym study For attend

4. See accompany.

Other words from attend

  • at·tend·er, noun
  • at·tend·ing·ly, adverb
  • well-at·tend·ed, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use attend in a sentence

  • Priests attend upon the goddess, and female dancers display their talent before her, accompanied by the loud music of the tam-tam.

  • She did not indulge in any tears, because the weeping she longed for would make her less able to attend upon him.

    Ruth | Elizabeth Cleghorn Gaskell
  • In Greek mythology the ocean furies attend upon fickle Poseidon.

    Myths of Babylonia and Assyria | Donald A. Mackenzie
  • The dignified Arab who gave it to him did not condescend upon any reply, but turned to attend upon his other customers.

    The Middy and the Moors | R.M. Ballantyne
  • You know that I was summoned to attend upon Mr. Randolph Maxwell, the first cousin of your mother.

British Dictionary definitions for attend


/ (əˈtɛnd) /

  1. to be present at (an event, meeting, etc)

  2. (when intr, foll by to) to give care; minister

  1. (when intr, foll by to) to pay attention; listen

  2. (tr; often passive) to accompany or follow: a high temperature attended by a severe cough

  3. (intr; foll by on or upon) to follow as a consequence (of)

  4. (intr foll by to) to devote one's time; apply oneself: to attend to the garden

  5. (tr) to escort or accompany

  6. (intr; foll by on or upon) to wait (on); serve; provide for the needs (of): to attend on a guest

  7. (tr) archaic to wait for; expect

  8. (intr) obsolete to delay

Origin of attend

C13: from Old French atendre, from Latin attendere to stretch towards, from tendere to extend

Derived forms of attend

  • attender, noun

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012