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[dih-fen-suh-buh l] /dɪˈfɛn sə bəl/
capable of being defended against assault or injury:
The troops were bivouacked in a defensible position.
that can be defended in argument; justifiable.
Origin of defensible
1250-1300; Middle English < Late Latin defēnsibilis, equivalent to Latin defēns(us) (see defense) + -ibilis -ible; replacing Middle English defensable < Old French < Late Latin defēnsābilis, equivalent to defēnsā(re) (frequentative of dēfendere to defend) + -bilis -ble
Related forms
defensibility, defensibleness, noun
defensibly, adverb
nondefensibility, noun
nondefensible, adjective
nondefensibleness, noun
nondefensibly, adverb
undefensible, adjective
undefensibleness, noun
undefensibly, adverb
2. suitable, fit, tenable, allowable, warrantable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for defensible
  • Using it on someone's office plant is borderline defensible.
  • Making the process more egalitarian and morally defensible will take years of incremental work.
  • Our increased commitment to accountability has led to more deliberate, defensible, and professional decision-making.
  • But the question raised by the cobblers is whether this scheme is sustainable and ethically defensible.
  • Academic freedom is one thing but it does not extend to teaching transparent falsehood as truth or even as a defensible position.
  • While such consistency might be admirable, it is hardly defensible in a slow-growth environment.
  • Both decisions strike me as being entirely defensible.
  • The word really makes a huge difference and renders her statement perfectly defensible.
  • The more they defend their position, the less defensible it becomes.
  • That, to me, would be a defensible and honest application of social science to achieve a desired end.
British Dictionary definitions for defensible


capable of being defended, as in war, an argument, etc
Derived Forms
defensibility, defensibleness, noun
defensibly, adverb
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
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Word Origin and History for defensible

late 13c., from Old French defensable, from Late Latin defensibilem, from Latin defens-, past participle stem of defendere (see defend).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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