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

Definition of codefendant

: 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

Examples of codefendant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Hallinan’s codefendant and longtime lawyer, Wheeler K. Neff, was sentenced in May to eight years behind bars. Jeremy Roebuck,, "Main Line's 'godfather of payday lending' sentenced to 14 years, stripped of $64M, for preying on financially vulnerable," 6 July 2018 Harris and three codefendants have since been arrested and charged with murder. David Anderson, The Aegis, "APG commander honors fallen military, police at Aberdeen Memorial Day ceremony," 29 May 2018 The Supremes are scheduled to discuss a tax dispute pitting South Dakota against Wayfair and codefendants and Newegg. Jon Chesto,, "Wayfair sales tax case goes to Supreme Court on Tuesday," 16 Apr. 2018 After Bell and his codefendants were sentenced in May 1975, officers conducting a courthouse search discovered the men had been smuggled lock-picking tools, knives and explosives, according to the NYPD report and an article in The New York Times. Eliott C. Mclaughlin, CNN, "Police, widow blast New York decision to parole 3-time cop killer," 30 Apr. 2018 Further, managers can be named as codefendants in harassment lawsuits. Anchorage Daily News, "Some employees I manage are accused of harassment. Can my company hang me out to dry for their behavior?," 30 Apr. 2018 Court records show the teen's codefendants are Roland Fields, 24, Rannell Fields, 18, Dwayne Jacobs, 17, and Lionell Young, 16. Marie Simoneaux,, "Teen pleads guilty to string of armed carjackings and robberies, sentenced to 1 year," 28 Mar. 2018 Since the separation, Highers has been staying at the home of his brother, Raymond Highers — his one-time codefendant in a murder case. Christina Hall, Detroit Free Press, "Cleared of murder, Thomas Highers is locked up again on charges of beating estranged wife," 20 Feb. 2018 Last month, the Supreme Court overturned a codefendant’s conviction for criminally negligent homicide in the attack on Francis, who died of sudden cardiac death after the incident. Washington Post, "Court upholds conspiracy conviction in fatal bathroom attack," 11 Apr. 2018

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.

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First Known Use of codefendant

circa 1644, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of codefendant was circa 1644

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More Definitions for codefendant


co·​de·​fen·​dant | \ ˌkō-di-ˈfen-dənt, -ˌdant\

Legal Definition of codefendant

: a joint defendant

Comments on codefendant

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


to speak slightingly about or to degrade

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