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

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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

Reggie Cannon sent a cross from the right side, finding an open Carlos Gruezo between the six-yard line and the penalty spot who finished as Fire defenders watched on. Juan Pimiento,, "10-man Chicago Fire drop their 3rd straight against FC Dallas," 14 July 2018 Pride defender Ali Krieger started the game, competing in the 100th NWSL match of her career. Iliana Limón Romero, Pro Soccer USA, "Orlando Pride earn 2-1 road win over Utah Royals," 14 July 2018 Argentina's 2-1 lead in the second half of a round-of-16 game was wiped out by defender Benjamin Pavard's long-range shot. Graham Dunbar,, "A Youthful France Faces Veteran-Laden Croatia For World Cup," 14 July 2018 In addition, Wayne, in setting the Heat franchise record for 3-pointers, often had the benefit of going against second-team and second-tier defenders. Ira Winderman,, "ASK IRA: Should Heat draw a (hard) line at draft assets?," 14 July 2018 Meanwhile, defender Ivan Magalhäes was arrested last weekend on aggravated battery charges. Charlie Hatch,, "Scouting report: FC Cincinnati hosts Tampa Bay Rowdies on Saturday night at Nippert Stadium," 13 July 2018 French midfielder Zinedine Zidane, left, after delivering a head butt to Italian defender Marco Materazzi during the World Cup final in 2006. Joshua Robinson, WSJ, "France, on the Brink of a World Cup Win, Has the Bleus," 13 July 2018 Mandzukic alertly reacted to the unexpected ball in the penalty area, splitting defenders Stones and Harry Maguire, who both had taken four short steps up. Ronald Blum, The Christian Science Monitor, "Croatia will make its first-ever appearance in World Cup final," 12 July 2018 Team official and former international Ognjen Vukojevic was expelled from the delegation for making a pro-Ukraine video with defender Domagoj Vida., "England vs. Croatia: What to watch for in today's World Cup semifinal," 11 July 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

16 Sep 2018

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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 \

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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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).


alleviating pain or harshness

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