Definition of defend
1a : to drive danger or attack away from defend the castle from invadersb (1) : to maintain or support in the face of argument or hostile criticism defend a theory couldn't defend their actions (2) : to prove (something, such as a doctoral thesis or dissertation) valid by answering questions in an oral exam preparing to defend her thesisc sports : to attempt to prevent an opponent from scoring at elects to defend the south goal
3 : to act as attorney for hired a lawyer to defend their son
5 : to retain or seek to retain (something, such as a title or position) against a challenge in a contest they successfully defended their championship
1 : to take action against attack or challenge the defending champion
2 sports : to play or be on defense playing deep to defend against a pass
3 card games : to play against the high bidder
defendableplay \ˈfen-də-bəl\ adjective
Examples of defend in a Sentence
The company must defend its own interests.
We believed it was a cause worth defending.
She defended her friend's behavior.
Stop defending him. What he did was wrong.
Recent Examples of defend from the Web
Overview: Some returning nameplates strut into a new model year with the braggadocio of a heavyweight prizefighter returning to defend a title.
So after a year off, The Greenbrier Classic returns, with Danny Lee as the defending champion from two years ago.
To defend human life, above all when it is wounded by illness, is a duty of love that God entrusts to all.
In an op-ed published in The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday, the First Daughter defended her $25 billion plan—and offered a rebuttal to an earlier opinion piece published by the paper's editorial board which condemned her proposed policy.
Jealous classmates bullied and taunted Christopher, who responded by taking boxing lessons to learn how to defend himself.
Kurt H. Dorr, Naperville Ex-Naper Settlement curator defendedIt has recently come to our attention that Bryan Ogg has been released from his duties as curator of research at Naper Settlement.
Snyder publicly defended his decision not to grant Sutton’s request, but Kansas State relented shortly afterward, freeing up Sutton to transfer to Appalachian State.
Meanwhile, the conservative kids on campus will have spent every waking moment defending their ideas, refining and developing their arguments.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defend'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of defend
Middle English, from Anglo-French defendre, from Latin defendere, from de- + -fendere to strike; akin to Old English gūth battle, war, Greek theinein to strike
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
Synonym Discussion of defend
synonyms see in addition maintain
DEFEND Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of defend for English Language Learners
: to fight in order to keep (someone or something) safe : to not allow a person or thing to hurt, damage, or destroy (someone or something)
: to fight or work hard in order to keep (something, such as a right, interest, cause, etc.) from being taken away
: to speak or write in support of (someone or something that is being challenged or criticized)
DEFEND Defined for Kids
Definition of defend for Students
1 : to protect from danger or attack
2 : to act or speak in favor of when others are opposed She defended her teacher against the class's complaints.
Legal Definition of defend
1 : to drive danger or attack away from using a weapon to defend oneself
2 : to act as attorney for (a defendant) appointed to defend the accused
3 : to deny or oppose the rights of a plaintiff in regard to (a suit or claim) intend to defend the case
1 : to take action against attack or challenge not justified in striking first, but may defend
2 : to present a defense may not thereafter defend on grounds of insanity — W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.
Seen and Heard
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