follow Dictionary.com

How Well Do You Know English Slang?

defend

[dih-fend] /dɪˈfɛnd/
verb (used with object)
1.
to ward off attack from; guard against assault or injury (usually followed by from or against):
The sentry defended the gate against sudden attack.
2.
to maintain by argument, evidence, etc.; uphold:
She defended her claim successfully.
3.
to contest (a legal charge, claim, etc.).
4.
Law. to serve as attorney for (a defendant):
He has defended some of the most notorious criminals.
5.
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.
6.
to attempt to retain (a championship title, position, etc.), as in a competition against a challenger.
verb (used without object)
7.
Law. to enter or make a defense.
Origin
1200-1250
1200-50; Middle English defenden < Old French defendre < Latin dēfendere to ward off, equivalent to dē- de- + -fendere to strike
Related forms
defendable, adjective
defender, noun
predefend, verb (used with object)
undefendable, adjective
undefendableness, noun
undefendably, adverb
undefended, adjective
undefending, adjective
well-defended, adjective
Synonyms
1. 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. To guard is to watch over in order to keep safe: to guard a camp. To preserve is to keep safe in the midst of danger, either in a single instance or continuously: to preserve a spirit of conciliation. To protect is to keep safe by interposing a shield or barrier: to protect books by means of heavy paper covers. 2. vindicate.
Antonyms
1. attack.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source
Examples for defender
  • Yet, neither you nor the other defender of the essay cite anything.
  • From the top of the key he faked left with a jab step and then drove past his defender down the right side of the lane.
  • But the distinguished defender of the open door is not always consistent in his exposition.
  • Some see him as a lightweight cheerleader, others as the last, best defender of quality journalism.
  • She is seen as a steady pair of hands when trouble strikes and a defender of public-service values.
  • With no credible opposition in sight, many look to the army as secularism's last defender.
  • He's a solid defender, but he'll succeed because of his offense.
  • The defender suffered a cut in a clash of heads but has suffered no lasting damage.
  • He's not only a versatile scorer but an excellent defender.
  • He was called for a charge even though it appeared the defender was in the half-circle under the basket.
British Dictionary definitions for defender

defend

/dɪˈfɛnd/
verb
1.
to protect (a person, place, etc) from harm or danger; ward off an attack on
2.
(transitive) to support in the face of criticism, esp by argument or evidence
3.
to represent (a defendant) in court in a civil or criminal action
4.
(sport) to guard or protect (oneself, one's goal, etc) against attack
5.
(transitive) to protect (a championship or title) against a challenge
Derived Forms
defendable, adjective
defender, noun
Word Origin
C13: from Old French defendre, from Latin dēfendere to ward off, from de- + -fendere to strike
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for defender
n.

c.1300 (early 13c. as a surname), via Anglo-French, from Old French defendeor, agent noun from defendre (see defend). The Latin word in this sense was defensor.

defend

v.

mid-13c., from Old French defendre (12c.) "defend, resist," and directly from Latin defendere "ward off, protect, guard, allege in defense," from de- "from, away" (see de-) + -fendere "to strike, push," from PIE root *gwhen- "to strike, kill" (see bane). In the Mercian hymns, Latin defendet is glossed by Old English gescildeð. Related: Defended; defending.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Difficulty index for defend

Most English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for defender

13
14
Scrabble Words With Friends

Quotes with defender