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 When Pinion was the last defender in his way, Agnew had a full head of steam and juked to his left, then blazed past for a 74-yard touchdown. Carlos Monarrez, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Lions returner: I would have fired myself if the punter stopped me... again," 27 Dec. 2020 Wesley Matthews arrived as Avery Bradley’s replacement on the wing -- the feisty defender with a capable 3-point stroke. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "NBA 2020-21 season predictions: Will LeBron James and Los Angeles Lakers go back-to-back?," 22 Dec. 2020 The 23-year-old defender was selected with the fifth and final pick of the draft, then traded to the Montreal Impact. Julia Poe,, "Austin FC drafts Orlando City’s Kamal Miller, trades him to Montreal," 15 Dec. 2020 Linebacker Todd Davis was the first NFL defender flagged for pass interference in at least the last 20 years during a Hail Mary in the last five seconds of a half, according to ESPN, which led to a Bucs field goal. Andrew Krammer, Star Tribune, "Dan Bailey makes it through Monday, remains Vikings kicker for now," 14 Dec. 2020 His blocking gave the defender no chance to get to Nix, which allowed Auburn to take the lead. Giana Han, al, "Grading Auburn’s loss to Texas A&M," 6 Dec. 2020 Looney is the most experienced and most versatile defender among the group, having played a prominent role in seven-game playoff slugfests and the ability to guard all five positions. Rusty Simmons,, "How Wiseman, Chriss and Looney fit into Warriors’ center rotation," 4 Dec. 2020 Johnson did not immediately respond to CNN's requests for comment, and the head of the defender's office declined to comment. Amir Vera And Rebekah Riess, CNN, "Founder of all-Black armed activist group faces federal charge after FBI says he aimed a rifle at officers," 4 Dec. 2020 Washington State’s Jayden de Laura and the additional defender in the box helped at times against the run. oregonlive, "No. 22 Oregon Ducks vs. Cal Bears: 5 things to watch," 4 Dec. 2020

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

30 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Defender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 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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