verb (used with object)
to ward off attack from; guard against assault or injury (usually followed by from
The sentry defended the gate against sudden attack.
to maintain by argument, evidence, etc.; uphold:
She defended her claim successfully.
to contest (a legal charge, claim, etc.).
to serve as attorney for (a defendant):
He has defended some of the most notorious criminals.
to support (an argument, theory, etc.) in the face of criticism; prove the validity of (a dissertation, thesis, or the like) by answering arguments and questions put by a committee of specialists.
to attempt to retain (a championship title, position, etc.), as in a competition against a challenger.
1200–50; Middle English defenden
< Old French defendre
< Latin dēfendere
to ward off, equivalent to dē- de-
defendable, adjectivedefender, nounpredefend, verb (used with object)undefendable, adjectiveundefendableness, nounundefendably, adverbundefended, adjectiveundefending, adjectivewell-defended, adjective
shelter, screen, shield; garrison, fortify. Defend, guard, preserve, protect
all mean to keep safe. To defend
is to strive to keep safe by resisting attack: to defend one's country.
is to watch over in order to keep safe: to guard a camp.
is to keep safe in the midst of danger, either in a single instance or continuously: to preserve a spirit of conciliation.
is to keep safe by interposing a shield or barrier: to protect books by means of heavy paper covers. 2.