de·​fense·​man | \ di-ˈfen(t)s-mən How to pronounce defenseman (audio) , -ˌman\

Definition of defenseman

: a player in a sport (such as hockey) who is assigned to a defensive zone or position

Examples of defenseman in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

Young defenseman Charlie McAvoy had trouble calming his nerves until Bergeron spoke up in the locker room and said exactly what players needed to hear. Stephen Whyno,, "Bruins look to keep things consistent for Stanley Cup Finals Game 7," 10 June 2019 Coach Bruce Cassidy didn’t talk to and only briefly texted with the 42-year-old defenseman, who has a facial injury that has been reported to be a broken jaw. Stephen Whyno, The Denver Post, "St. Louis Blues beating Boston Bruins in battle of attrition in Stanley Cup Final," 5 June 2019 Many scouts now think that defenseman Bowen Byram and centers Dylan Cozens, Kirby Dach, Alex Turcotte, and Trevor Zegras have jumped ahead of him, and others might, too. Sam Carchidi,, "If Flyers keep their first-round draft pick, talented (but flawed) Russian winger Vasili Podkolzin could be available," 5 June 2019 Veteran defenseman Braydon Coburn worried that the Philadelphia Flyers had traded him to a hockey wasteland when he was dealt to the Tampa Bay Lightning in 2015. Jared Diamond, WSJ, "Florida Man Turns City Into America’s Unlikeliest Hockey Hotbed," 11 Apr. 2019 Former Columbus Blue Jackets defenseman James Wisniewski was also a passenger in the car, a 2014 black BMW. Roxanna Scott, USA TODAY, "Details emerge about car accident that injured pro golfer during Memorial week," 5 June 2018 Pittsburgh defenseman Brian Dumoulin went into the league's concussion protocol after Wilson blindsided him in Game 2 while Dumoulin was bracing for a collision with Ovechkin. CBS News, "Penguins' Zach Aston-Reese breaks jaw in testy playoff loss to Capitals," 2 May 2018 Following the heroics of Lamoureux-Davidson and Rooney, Canadian defenseman Jocelyne Larocque removed her silver medal after receiving it at a post-game ceremony. Sean Gregory / Gangneung, Time, "U.S. Pulls off Shootout Victory Over Arch Rival Canada to Win Women's Hockey Gold," 22 Feb. 2018 The start of Friday’s 2018 NHL draft went as projected: The Buffalo Sabres grabbed franchise defenseman Rasmus Dahlin at first overall, and the Carolina Hurricanes picked forward Andrei Svechnikov second. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Red Wings steal Filip Zadina with sixth pick in 2018 NHL draft," 22 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defenseman.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

See More

First Known Use of defenseman

1877, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about defenseman

Statistics for defenseman

Last Updated

15 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for defenseman

The first known use of defenseman was in 1877

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for defenseman



English Language Learners Definition of defenseman

: a player in a sport (such as hockey) who tries to stop the other team from scoring

More from Merriam-Webster on defenseman

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with defenseman

Comments on defenseman

What made you want to look up defenseman? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


showing great care, attention, and effort

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Finance Words Quiz

  • a-piggy-bank
  • The etymology of mortgage is related most closely to which two words?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!