de·​fend·​er | \ di-ˈfen-dər How to pronounce defender (audio) \

Definition of defender

1 : one that defends
2 : a player in a sport (such as football) assigned to a defensive position

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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 If there truly isn’t a weak link, then one man, one defender, even if that requires switching. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Should Heat defense be all for one, or one for all?," 8 Apr. 2021 Stabler is actually married — his wife, Kathy, a beleaguered but supportive high-school sweetheart — and comes to his job with old-school morals and white-knight moralism: defender of the weak with a notoriously short fuse. Carmen Maria Machado, Los Angeles Times, "Commentary: ‘Law & Order’ is lost without Stabler and Benson. Here’s why their pairing works," 8 Apr. 2021 Miller, a graduate student defender who also spent her first four years with the Terps, is tied for second in caused turnovers with nine and is tied for sixth in ground balls with 10. Edward Lee,, "‘A seamless transition’: Trio of transfers contributing to early success for Towson women’s lacrosse," 8 Apr. 2021 Well rounded defender that can cover, make plays on ball and impact the run game closer to the line of scrimmage. oregonlive, "Zion Branch, nation’s No. 3 safety, announces Oregon Ducks official visit," 8 Apr. 2021 The Nuggets need a strong wing defender, and Jerami Grant is widely considered one of the league’s best in that category. Larry Starks, USA TODAY, "Stephen Curry showing MVP form despite Warriors' tough season," 7 Apr. 2021 Goalkeeper Erin McLeod and defender Toni Pressley are the player representatives for the Orlando Pride. Julia Poe,, "NWSL, players enter formal process for collective bargaining," 7 Apr. 2021 No one in today's game is giving up a 3-point shooter or solid defender for a rebounder. J. Michael, The Indianapolis Star, "Insider: Can't keep making excuses for Pacers' inability to rebound against the Bulls," 7 Apr. 2021 Real Madrid will be without Sergio Ramos due to injury, and fellow central defender Raphael Varane is also out after testing positive for COVID-19. Tim Bielik, cleveland, "Liverpool vs. Real Madrid free live stream (4/6/21): How to watch, TV | UEFA Champions League quarterfinals first leg," 6 Apr. 2021

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.

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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

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Time Traveler for defender

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for defender

Last Updated

11 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Defender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 20 Apr. 2021.

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More Definitions for defender


de·​fend·​er | \ di-ˈfen-dər How to pronounce defender (audio) \

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

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