de·​fen·​si·​ble | \di-ˈfen(t)-sə-bəl \

Definition of defensible 

: capable of being defended defensible theories a defensible hill

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Other Words from defensible

defensibility \di-​ˌfen(t)-​sə-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē, ˌdē-​ \ noun
defensibly \-​blē \ adverb

Examples of defensible in a Sentence

Both candidates hold defensible positions on the issue. Under those circumstances, her actions were completely defensible. Slavery is not morally defensible. The city has a defensible location.
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Recent Examples on the Web

And the scripted cleanup pertained only to the least defensible of his comments. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Trump backs down, says he misspoke on Russia meddling," 17 July 2018 The connections don’t have to be explicit, just defensible. New York Times, "How to Make a Travel Break Sound Like Work Experience," 6 Apr. 2018 While the above may be defensible on some level, this one is not. Aaron Blake, Washington Post, "The White House's extremely dishonest statement on the Russia indictments," 16 Feb. 2018 Most of the respondents thought their actions were defensible. Brian Resnick, Vox, "A top Cornell food researcher has had 13 studies retracted. That’s a lot.," 19 Sep. 2018 Triozzi also said making the payment without County Council approval is not recommended but that action is defensible because of the holdover provision in the lease contract. Karen Farkas,, "Cuyahoga County made a $61,897.90 rent payment without approval, angering County Council," 25 Apr. 2018 McCully said five inspectors for San Diego County will be checking individual properties to ensure vegetation has been cleared at least 100 feet away from structures as defensible space. Julie Gallant, Ramona Sentinel, "Fire readiness begins with property checks, new fire truck," 21 June 2018 Equally important, Apple has invested heavily in building data mining tools that respect user privacy and attempt to anonymize and obfuscate user data in mathematically defensible ways. Alex Salkever, Fortune, "Commentary: Apple Actually Cares About Users’ Data. Facebook Could Learn a Lesson.," 27 Mar. 2018 That was a defensible position in the wake of the 2006 Tour, when Floyd Landis rode an incredible 80-mile solo breakaway to win back the yellow jersey—only, of course, to be busted for doping a few days later. Marc Peruzzi, Outside Online, "Stop Boycotting Pro Cycling," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defensible.' 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 defensible

14th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for defensible

Middle English defensable, defensible "ready to fight, easily defended," borrowed from Anglo-French, borrowed from Late Latin dēfensābilis "able to be defended," from Latin dēfensāre "to act in defense" (frequentative of dēfendere "to defend") + -bilis "capable (of acting) or worthy of (being acted upon)" — more at -able

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Last Updated

1 Dec 2018

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Time Traveler for defensible

The first known use of defensible was in the 14th century

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English Language Learners Definition of defensible

: able to be thought of as good or acceptable

: able to be defended or protected : able to be kept safe from damage or harm

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to enclose within walls

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