de·​fend·​er | \di-ˈfen-dər \

Definition of defender 

1 : one that defends

2 : a player in a sport (such as football) assigned to a defensive position

Keep scrolling for more

Examples of defender in a Sentence

one of the traditional roles of an older brother is that of schoolyard defender

Recent Examples on the Web

But in recent days the White House has seen the pressure ebb, as Kavanaugh’s defenders — most recently Alberto Gonzales, who served as attorney general under President George W. Bush — have provided balance., "Announcement of Trump’s Supreme Court choice nears," 8 July 2018 But in recent days the White House has seen the pressure ebb, as Kavanaugh's defenders — most recently Alberto Gonzales, who served as attorney general under President George W. Bush — have provided balance. Catherine Lucey, Zeke Miller And Ken Thomas, Houston Chronicle, "Trump weighs 2 or 3 candidates for court, to meet with Pence," 6 July 2018 Cancelo, former Valencia defender, joined Juventus for €40.4m last month and will now work alongside the five time Ballon d'Or winner at the Allianz Stadium., "Juventus Chief Reveals How Joao Cancelo Signing Triggered Cristiano Ronaldo's Stunning Move," 12 July 2018 In 1998, a defender — Laurent Blanc — scored in the first knockout game to defeat Paraguay in extra time; and Barthez saved France in a tense penalty shootout against Italy in the quarterfinals. Jerome Pugmire, The Seattle Times, "Superb defense takes France close to another World Cup title," 10 July 2018 Jordan, a powerful House conservative, has influential defenders in his corner, including House Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows (R-NC) and President Donald Trump. Jen Kirby, Vox, "Jim Jordan and the Ohio State sexual abuse controversy, explained," 7 July 2018 For example, Whitley said, Texas counties pay more than $216 million annually for indigent defenders in state court cases (for people charged with crimes who can't afford a lawyer), without being reimbursed by the state. Gordon Dickson And Nicholas Sakelaris, star-telegram, "Priced out of their home? North Texans see tax bill rise $1,200 in five years," 6 July 2018 Trump’s friend and most staunch defender, whose is also a good friend to Shine—cried the whitest Twitter tears upon learning that Shine was resigning from the news station in 2017. Stephen A. Crockett Jr., The Root, "Trump Picks Disgraced Former Fox News Executive Bill Shine to Fill White House Communications Position," 5 July 2018 Its second went to a central defender, Thiago Silva, off a corner kick. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "Brazil Is Rounding Into Form at Just the Right Time," 27 June 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of defender

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for defender

Middle English defendour, defender, borrowed from Anglo-French defendour, defendur, from defend-, stem of defendre "to defend" + -our, -ur -or entry 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about defender

Statistics for defender

Last Updated

11 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defender

The first known use of defender was in the 14th century

See more words from the same century

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for defender


de·​fend·​er | \di-ˈfen-dər \

Kids Definition of defender

1 : a person or thing that protects from danger or attack

2 : a player in a sport who tries to keep the other team from scoring



Legal Definition of defender 

: a lawyer who represents defendants especially : public defender

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on defender

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


playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.


Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!