contend vs postulate what difference

what is difference between contend and postulate



From Middle English contenden, borrowed from Old French contendre, from Latin contendere (to stretch out, extend, strive after, contend), from com- (together) + tendere (to stretch); see tend, and compare attend, extend, intend, subtend.


  • IPA(key): /kənˈtɛnd/
  • Rhymes: -ɛnd


contend (third-person singular simple present contends, present participle contending, simple past and past participle contended)

  1. (intransitive) To be in opposition; to contest; to dispute; to vie; to quarrel; to fight.
    • 2011, Osaiah “Ike” Wilson III, ‎James J.F. Forrest, Handbook of Defence Politics
      the armies of Syria and Lebanon lack the capability to contend with the Israeli army, as demonstrated during the course of the First Lebanon War.
  2. (intransitive) To struggle or exert oneself to obtain or retain possession of, or to defend.
    • 17th century, John Dryden, Epistle III to the Lady Castlemain
      You sit above, and see vain men below / Contend for what you only can bestow.
    • 2020, C. Matthew McMahon, ‎Therese B. McMahon, 5 Marks of Christian Resolve
      God has entrusted something to the church, and it is the church’s job to contend for it, even unto death
  3. (intransitive) To be in debate; to engage in discussion; to dispute; to argue.
    • 1667, Richard Allestree, The Causes of the Decay of Christian Piety
      many of those things he so fiercely contended about , were either falle or trivial
  4. (intransitive) To believe (something is reasonable) and argue (for it); to advocate.
    • 1996, Michael Adler, ‎Erio Ziglio, Gazing Into the Oracle []
      Some panellists contended that the costs of research and care justified the establishment of a permanent national commission


  • (strive in opposition): fight, combat, vie, oppose
  • (struggle): struggle, strive, emulate (rare)
  • (strive in debate): contest, litigate, dispute, debate
  • (believe and argue): assert, aver

Related terms

  • contender
  • contention
  • contentious


Further reading

  • contend in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.
  • contend in The Century Dictionary, New York, N.Y.: The Century Co., 1911.



From Medieval Latin postulāt- (asked), from the verb postulāre (to ask), from Latin postulō (request).


  • (UK) enPR: pŏsʹtyo͝o-lət IPA(key): /ˈpɒstjʊlət/
  • (US) enPR: pŏsʹchə-lət, pŏsʹchə-lāt’, IPA(key): /ˈpɑstʃələt/, /ˈpɑstʃəˌleɪt/
  • Hyphenation: pos‧tu‧late
  • (UK) enPR: pŏsʹtyo͝o-lət IPA(key): /ˈpɒstjʊlət/
  • (US) enPR: pŏsʹchə-lət, IPA(key): /ˈpɑstʃələt/
  • Hyphenation: pos‧tu‧late
  • (UK) enPR: pŏsʹtyo͝o-lāt IPA(key): /ˈpɒstjʊleɪt/
  • (US) enPR: pŏsʹchə-lāt’ IPA(key): /ˈpɑstʃəˌleɪt/
  • Hyphenation: pos‧tu‧late


postulate (plural postulates)

  1. Something assumed without proof as being self-evident or generally accepted, especially when used as a basis for an argument. Sometimes distinguished from axioms as being relevant to a particular science or context, rather than universally true, and following from other axioms rather than being an absolute assumption.
  2. A fundamental element; a basic principle.
  3. (logic) An axiom.
  4. A requirement; a prerequisite.

Derived terms

  • parallel postulate
  • universal postulate



postulate (not comparable)

  1. Postulated.


postulate (third-person singular simple present postulates, present participle postulating, simple past and past participle postulated)

  1. To assume as a truthful or accurate premise or axiom, especially as a basis of an argument.
    • 1883, Benedictus de Spinoza, translated by R. H. M. Elwes, Ethics, Part 3, Prop. XXII,
      But this pleasure or pain is postulated to come to us accompanied by the idea of an external cause; []
    • 1911, Encyclopædia Britannica, “Infinite”,
      [T]he attempt to arrive at a physical explanation of existence led the Ionian thinkers to postulate various primal elements or simply the infinite τὸ ἀπειρον.
  2. (transitive, intransitive, Christianity, historical) To appoint or request one’s appointment to an ecclesiastical office.
    • 1874, John Small (ed.), The Poetical Works of Gavin Douglas, Bishop of Dunkeld, Vol 1, p. xvi
      [A]lthough Douglas was postulated to it [the Abbacy of Arbroath], and signed letters and papers under this designation his nomination [] was never completed.
  3. (transitive, intransitive, obsolete) To request, demand or claim for oneself.

Derived terms

  • postulation
  • postulational



  • attopulse




  1. inflection of postulare:
    1. second-person plural present indicative
    2. second-person plural imperative
  2. feminine plural of postulato




  1. second-person plural present active imperative of postulō

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