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

: 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

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
a :  capability of resisting attack
b :  defensive play or ability <a player known for good defense>
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
a :  a defending party or group (as in a court of law) <the defense rests>
b :  a defensive team
:  the military and industrial aggregate that authorizes and supervises arms production <appropriations for defense> <defense contract>
de·fense·less \-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



Definition of DEFENSE

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

First Known Use of DEFENSE


Other General Sports Terms

kegler, mulligan, rappel, turkey


noun de·fense   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of DEFENSE

:  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

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


Next Word in the Dictionary: defense in depthPrevious Word in the Dictionary: defenestrationAll Words Near: defense
May 24, 2015
erudite Hear it
learned or pedantic
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears