verb (used without object)
  1. to have reference or relation; relate: documents pertaining to the lawsuit.
  2. to belong or be connected as a part, adjunct, possession, or attribute.
  3. to belong properly or fittingly; be appropriate.

Origin of pertain

1300–50; Middle English pertenen, partenen, perteinen < Middle French partein-, tonic stem of partenir < Latin pertinēre to be applicable, literally, to hold through, reach, equivalent to per- per- + -tinēre, combining form of tenēre to hold
Related formsun·per·tain·ing, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for pertained

Contemporary Examples of pertained

Historical Examples of pertained

  • But Mr. Gladstone would not agree to any of these plans as far as they pertained to himself.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Evidently the Street and all that pertained was a sore subject.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • In all that pertained to a sombre monotony, Kellett's Court was a convent.

  • These things have pertained to you since your birth: they are part of you, and you of them.

  • As for the household, what little discipline had once pertained, was gone.

    The Lion's Brood

    Duffield Osborne

British Dictionary definitions for pertained


verb (intr often foll by to)
  1. to have reference, relation, or relevanceissues pertaining to women
  2. to be appropriatethe product pertains to real user needs
  3. to belong (to) or be a part (of); be an adjunct, attribute, or accessory (of)

Word Origin for pertain

C14: from Latin pertinēre, from per- (intensive) + tenēre to hold
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

Word Origin and History for pertained



early 14c., from Old French partenir "to belong to" and directly from Latin pertinere "to reach, stretch; relate, have reference to; belong, be the right of; be applicable," from per- "through" (see per) + tenere "to hold" (see tenet). Related: Pertained; pertaining.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper