co·​de·​fen·​dant ˌkō-di-ˈfen-dənt How to pronounce codefendant (audio)
 in legal circles often  -ˌdant
variants or co-defendant
plural codefendants or co-defendants
: a defendant in the same lawsuit or criminal prosecution as another defendant or group of defendants : a joint defendant
… the defendant argued that it was plain error for the trial court to have permitted the prosecution to treat his co-defendant as hostile …State v. Saenz

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web To the chagrin of the government, Croft was spared a life sentence, just as his codefendant Adam Fox was a day earlier. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 28 Dec. 2022 Exxon later joined the government as a codefendant in the case. Antonia Juhasz, WIRED, 20 Dec. 2022 Edward McGee, a codefendant, pleaded guilty in October to aggravated vehicular hijacking and was sentenced to 35 years in prison. Megan Jones, Chicago Tribune, 14 Dec. 2022 Kilpatrick's codefendant and longtime contractor friend Bobby Ferguson remains locked up for another 10 years. Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, 10 Aug. 2021 Another codefendant, Susana Medina Oaxaca, who was Garcia’s former assistant, pleaded guilty Friday to a charge of assault likely to cause great bodily injury, Bonta’s office said. Los Angeles Times, 3 June 2022 His codefendant, Nuon Chea, often referred to as Brother Number Two to Pol Pot, was also found guilty in both trials and sentenced to life in prison. Seth Mydans,, 22 Sep. 2022 The time limit was enforced near the end of trial and only affected one witness: codefendant Kaleb Franks, who pleaded guilty early on and testified against the others at trial. Tresa Baldas, Detroit Free Press, 2 Sep. 2022 His sister and codefendant, Stephany Perez, 26, of Oxnard, is scheduled to go on trial in the case next February. Staff Reports, USA TODAY, 25 Aug. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'codefendant.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1641, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of codefendant was in 1641

Dictionary Entries Near codefendant

Cite this Entry

“Codefendant.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Legal Definition


ˌkō-di-ˈfen-dənt, -ˌdant
: a joint defendant

More from Merriam-Webster on codefendant

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