Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

defense

play
noun de·fense \di-ˈfen(t)s; as antonym of “offense,” often ˈdē-ˌ\

Simple Definition of defense

  • : the act of defending someone or something from attack

  • : something that is used to protect yourself, your country, etc.

  • : the act of speaking or writing in support of someone or something that is being attacked or criticized

Full Definition of defense

  1. 1 a :  the act or action of defending <the defense of our country> <speak out in defense of justice> b :  a defendant's denial, answer, or plea

  2. 2 a :  capability of resisting attack b :  defensive play or ability <a player known for good defense>

  3. 3 a :  means or method of defending or protecting oneself, one's team, or another; also :  a defensive structure b :  an argument in support or justification c :  the collected facts and method adopted by a defendant to protect and defend against a plaintiff's action d :  a sequence of moves available in chess to the second player in the opening

  4. 4 a :  a defending party or group (as in a court of law) <the defense rests> b :  a defensive team

  5. 5 :  the military and industrial aggregate that authorizes and supervises arms production <appropriations for defense> <defense contract>

de·fense·less play \-ləs\ adjective
de·fense·less·ly adverb
de·fense·less·ness noun

Examples of defense

  1. They put up a good defense, but the city ultimately fell to the invaders.

  2. They mounted a good defense.

  3. The city's defenses were not strong enough to keep out the invaders.

  4. We need to improve our defenses.

  5. the nation's air and ground defenses



Origin of defense

Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin defensa vengeance, from Latin, feminine of defensus, past participle of defendere


First Known Use: 14th century


2

defense

verb de·fense

Definition of defense

de·fensedde·fens·ing

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to take specific defensive action against (an opposing team or player or an offensive play)



1950

First Known Use of defense

1950

Other General Sports Terms



DEFENSE Defined for Kids

defense

play
noun de·fense \di-ˈfens\

Definition of defense

  1. 1 :  the act of protecting or defending <They were defeated in spite of a brave defense.>

  2. 2 :  something that defends or protects <… sneaking out to spy on him was not much of a defense against his treachery. — Lemony Snicket, The Austere Academy>

  3. 3 :  the players on a team who try to stop the other team from scoring

de·fense·less \-ləs\ adjective



Medical Dictionary

defense

noun de·fense

Medical Definition of defense

  1. :  a means or method of protecting the physical or functional integrity of body or mind <ability to concentrate urine may be interpreted as a renal defense of body volume fluid—Jack Metcoff>



Variants of defense

or chiefly British de·fence \di-ˈfen(t)s\play


Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up defense? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 5, 2016

bread traditionally eaten on Shabbat

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

duvet kittly-benders spindrift pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ