1

defendant

noun de·fen·dant \ di-ˈfen-dənt , in legal circles often -ˌdant \
Updated on: 14 Apr 2018

Definition of defendant

law
: a person or group against whom a criminal or civil action is brought : someone who is being sued or accused of committing a crime
  • if the jury finds the defendant not guilty
— compare plaintiff

Examples of defendant in a Sentence

  1. The jury believed that the defendant was guilty.

Recent Examples of defendant from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of defendant

Middle English defendaunt, borrowed from Anglo-French defendant, diffendaunt, noun derivative from present participle of defendre "to defend"

2

defendant

adjective

Definition of defendant

: being on the defensive : defending

Recent Examples of defendant from the Web

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

Origin and Etymology of defendant

Middle English defendaunt, from Anglo-French defendant, present participle of defendre "to defend"

DEFENDANT Defined for English Language Learners

defendant

Definition of defendant for English Language Learners

  • : a person who is being sued or accused of a crime in a court of law


Law Dictionary

defendant

noun de·fen·dant \ di-ˈfen-dənt, -ˌdant \

legal Definition of defendant

: the party against whom a criminal or civil action is brought — see also answer, codefendant — compare accused, plaintiff


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