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 Either Medina goalkeeper Jacob Vogrin or one of his defenders could easily have handled the ball. cleveland, "First-half flurry carries St. Ignatius to 3-0 triumph over Medina in Div. I boys state soccer semifinal," 7 Nov. 2019 The fog is at work when Trump and his defenders say, with straight faces, that every single woman who has made a claim against him is a liar. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "The Perverse Physics of Accusing Trump of Assault," 7 Nov. 2019 After Jorginho's successful penalty made it 4-3, that left Ajax with 20 minutes to hold for the win with just nine men and neither of its central defenders. Matias Grez, CNN, "Chelsea and Ajax serve up eight-goal Champions League thriller," 5 Nov. 2019 The Spanish keeper then combined with his heroic defenders to prevent a last-gasp goalmouth scramble from breaking the deadlock, and the game finished as a pulsating draw., "Real Madrid 0-0 Real Betis: Los Merengues Slip Up Again in La Liga Title Race," 3 Nov. 2019 Trump is not doing the same for his Republican defenders. Mona Charen, National Review, "Impeachment for Thee but Not for Me," 1 Nov. 2019 Until now, Trump and his defenders have succeeded in keeping all but a few Republicans unified behind defensive talking points: The charges are spurious. Los Angeles Times, "Column: How Pierre Delecto — sorry, Mitt Romney — is helping to save the republic," 23 Oct. 2019 On top of that, Popovich was left to piece together a defense after losing most of his top defenders in the offseason. Jeff Mcdonald,, "Spurs open new season hoping turmoil a thing of past," 23 Oct. 2019 That announcement was roundly condemned by Republicans, including some of his staunchest defenders. Anchorage Daily News, "Trump reversed course on hosting of G-7 at his resort after learning that Republicans were tired of defending him," 21 Oct. 2019

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

11 Nov 2019

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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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).


something of little or no value

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