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

That attacking depth is what led Parsons to use Purce as a defender last season. Jamie Goldberg,, "Portland Thorns leading goal scorer Midge Purce craves even greater heights," 3 July 2019 Kanter, 27, is an elite rebounder and a strong finisher at the rim, although he is not known as a powerful defender. Adam Himmelsbach,, "After Al Horford’s departure to Philadelphia, Celtics rebound by acquiring Enes Kanter," 1 July 2019 Huawei as defender of intellectual property rights is at odds with the picture of the company some of its competitors have painted over the years. Klint Finley, WIRED, "Surprise! Huawei Can Actually Innovate—and Win Fans," 1 July 2019 Rivers was especially important as the first guard off the Rockets bench and as a strong perimeter defender, but also as a fill in when Chris Paul missed games. Jonathan Feigen, Houston Chronicle, "Rockets bring back Austin Rivers on two-year deal," 1 July 2019 Swartz, who leads Hartford with three goals on the season, had to be moved to defense, as defender Logan Gdula (FC Cincinnati) and Collin Martin (Minnesota United FC) were recalled to MLS teams. Shawn Mcfarland,, "Hartford Athletic can’t mount comeback against Bethlehem Steel FC, lose 3-0," 29 June 2019 The Warriors also like McKinnie’s trajectory as a defender, rebounder and shooter. Mark Medina, The Mercury News, "Warriors mailbag: What’s the latest on Kevin Durant’s future?," 28 June 2019 As a junior at Hoban last fall, Trayanum shared time in the backfield as a running back and moved all around as a defender. Matt Goul,, "Hoban RB DeaMonte Trayanum commits to Arizona State," 26 June 2019 Though Gatling improved as a defender last season, the 6-foot-6 Daniels offers a bigger option alongside point guard McKinley Wright. Pat Rooney, The Denver Post, "CU Buffs’ Shane Gatling’s offseason focus is smoothing game after up-and-down year," 25 June 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

8 Jul 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).


appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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