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, 370 P.3d 1278 (2016)

Examples of codefendant in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Trump, Nauta, and a third codefendant, Carlos de Oliveria — a former Mar-a-Lago employee with whom Smith says Nauta allegedly unsuccessfully tried to delete security camera footage — have all pleaded not guilty. Robert Legare, CBS News, 22 May 2024 The question of risk to the community at large stems from the nature of the attack in 2014, when Geyser, along with codefendant Anissa Weier, stabbed Leutner 19 times in the wooded area east of Davids Park in the southern edge of the city of Waukesha. Jim Riccioli, Journal Sentinel, 11 Apr. 2024 Trump and his codefendants are set to be arraigned next week. Jason Parham, WIRED, 28 Aug. 2023 Barnes and her two codefendants, Susan Broshears, 50, and Jamie Hubiak, 35, have all pleaded not guilty, according to court records. Sarah Loesch, The Indianapolis Star, 9 Feb. 2024 The case against Trump initially included 18 codefendants. Josh Meyer, USA TODAY, 19 Jan. 2024 Cartagena's sentencing comes less than a month after his codefendant Carlos Macci was sentenced to two and a half years in prison. Emlyn Travis,, 19 Aug. 2023 One Race and Diesel’s sister, Samantha Vincent — a producer at the company — are also listed as codefendants and accused of retaliation, wrongful termination, and negligent supervision and retention. Ethan Millman, Rolling Stone, 21 Dec. 2023 Trump and his codefendants may not be faced with deciding between a plea or jail. WIRED, 17 Sep. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'codefendant.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

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 30 May. 2024.

Legal Definition


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

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