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

And Bartolome de las Casas, the most outspoken defender of the Native Americans in the colonial period, also supported the explorer’s intentions and motivations. Alejandro Bermudez, WSJ, "Catholics Against Columbus," 24 Jan. 2019 Even its most ardent defenders admit that the NHS is in crisis. Sally C. Pipes, Fortune, "Why Does the Left Want Universal Health Care? Britain’s Is on Its Deathbed," 10 July 2018 Turning inside his defender the German had the entire goal to aim for, but tapped a tame effort right into the hands of Hyun-Woo Cho. Nathan Hilditch, Pro Soccer USA, "South Korea 2-0 Germany: Champions curse strikes again as Germany exits World Cup," 27 June 2018 Gustafson’s jumper over two defenders made it 60-43 with 4:21 to go, capping a spurt that helped Iowa clinch its highest win total in 31 years. Luke Meredith, The Seattle Times, "Gustafson, Iowa blow past Missouri 68-52," 24 Mar. 2019 The answer might seem obvious, but some of Kavanaugh’s defenders have argued that he should be confirmed — even if guilty. Dylan Matthews, Vox, "Exclusive: We re-ran polls from 1991 about Anita Hill, this time about Christine Blasey Ford," 4 Oct. 2018 Campbell got in behind the Swiss defence and got his legs in a tangle with two defenders., "Switzerland 2-2 Costa Rica: Swiss Set Up Sweden Meeting as Los Ticos Go Home With a Point," 27 June 2018 Arguing that the Cenotaph is a symbolic tombstone of the defenders, whose bodies were burned after the battle, some have said it should be repaired but left in its present spot in Alamo Plaza. Scott Huddleston, San Antonio Express-News, "Four proposed changes to Alamo Plaza likely to stir most debate," 16 June 2018 Smith is one of the most well-rounded defenders in the county. Tim Schwartz, Howard County Times, "Howard senior Felix Knorr faces off as boys lacrosse Player of the Year," 13 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.

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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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Statistics for defender

Last Updated

15 Apr 2019

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Time Traveler for defender

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

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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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More from Merriam-Webster on defender

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defender

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for defender

Spanish Central: Translation of defender

Nglish: Translation of defender for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of defender for Arabic Speakers

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).


to affect and impair by alcohol or a drug

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