Definition of defend
1a : to drive danger or attack away from <defend the castle from invaders>b (1) : to maintain or support in the face of argument or hostile criticism <defend a theory> <couldn't defend their actions> (2) : to prove (as a doctoral thesis or dissertation ) valid by answering questions in an oral exam <preparing to defend her thesis>c 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 (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.
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 century
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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