de·​fense·​man di-ˈfen(t)s-mən How to pronounce defenseman (audio)
: a player in a sport (such as hockey) who is assigned to a defensive zone or position

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Plenty of top defensemen, too, with Florida’s Brandon Montour and Aaron Ekblad vs. Vegas’ Alex Pietrangelo and Shea Theodore. Mike Brehm, USA TODAY, 17 May 2023 But Davidson could have a back line headlined by a pair of right-shot defensemen, Seth Jones and McAvoy, along with the presumptive Vezina winner and a speedy winger who just produced a career-high 50 points. Kevin Paul Dupont,, 13 May 2023 A couple of Detroit Red Wings defensemen squared off on the second day of the World Championship. Helene St. James, Detroit Free Press, 13 May 2023 The 23-year-old broke the Stars’ franchise record for most points in a single season by a defenseman with 73. Brice Paterik, Dallas News, 8 May 2023 Forwards Michael McCarron and Phil Tomassino and defenseman Kevin Gravel shuttled between levels. Dave Kallmann, Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2023 Leading defensemen: Cagnoni (70/75), McCleary (32/74), Alscher (28/68). Dylan Bumbarger, oregonlive, 21 Apr. 2023 Reuniting Doughty and Mikey Anderson has given the Kings a standout shutdown pair to play against NHL scoring champion Connor McDavid and has slotted other defensemen in more suitable roles. Helene Elliott, Los Angeles Times, 16 Apr. 2023 Carolina leads the league in goals by defensemen, spearheaded by offseason acquisition Brent Burns. Stephen Whyno, ajc, 15 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'defenseman.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1877, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of defenseman was in 1877

Dictionary Entries Near defenseman

Cite this Entry

“Defenseman.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 6 Jun. 2023.

Kids Definition


de·​fense·​man -mən How to pronounce defenseman (audio)
: a player in a sport who is assigned to a defensive zone or position
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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