Simple Definition of defend
: to fight in order to keep (someone or something) safe : to not allow a person or thing to hurt, damage, or destroy (someone or something)
: to fight or work hard in order to keep (something, such as a right, interest, cause, etc.) from being taken away
: to speak or write in support of (someone or something that is being challenged or criticized)
Full Definition of defend
1 a : to drive danger or attack away from <defend our shores> b (1) : to maintain or support in the face of argument or hostile criticism <defend a theory> (2) : to prove (as a doctoral thesis) valid by answering questions in an oral exam c : to attempt to prevent an opponent from scoring at <elects to defend the south goal>
3 : to act as attorney for
4 : to deny or oppose the right of a plaintiff in regard to (a suit or a wrong charged) : contest
5 : to retain or seek to retain (as a title or position) against a challenge in a contest <they successfully defended their championship>
1 : to take action against attack or challenge
2 : to play or be on defense <playing deep to defend against a pass>
3 : to play against the high bidder in a card game
Examples of defend
The company must defend its own interests.
We believed it was a cause worth defending.
She defended her friend's behavior.
Stop defending him. What he did was wrong.
Origin of defend
Middle English, from Anglo-French defendre, from Latin defendere, from de- + -fendere to strike; akin to Old English gūth battle, war, Greek theinein to strike
First Known Use: 14th century
Synonym Discussion of defend
synonyms see in addition maintain
Rhymes with defend
addend, amend, append, ascend, attend, bartend, befriend, Big Bend, bookend, boyfriend, closed-end, commend, compend, contend, dead end, dead-end, depend, descend, distend, downtrend, emend, expend, extend, fag end, forfend, front-end, girlfriend, Gravesend, headend, high-end, hornblende, impend, intend, Land's End, loose end, low-end, missend, misspend, next friend, no end, offend, on end, Ostend, outspend, perpend, pitchblende, portend, pretend, propend, protend, rear-end, resend, sheet bend, South Bend, split end, stipend, subtend, suspend, tag end, tail end, tight end, top-end, transcend, unbend, unkenned, upend, uptrend, weekend, year-end
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up defend? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).