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

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 The Honest and Open New EPA Science Treatment Act of 2017 (or HONEST) Act is billed by supporters as a good-government effort to make the research behind federal environmental regulations transparent and defensible. Ledyard King, USA TODAY, "Scott Pruitt wants to change how science is used for EPA regulations," 24 Apr. 2018 Less defensible reasons are mere inertia or, even worse, the belief on the part of a few judges that cumbersome formal language is needed to give jurors a sense of the majesty of the law. The Economist, "Too often juries comprise 12 confused men (and women)," 14 Apr. 2018 There are still defensible reasons for why the Pistons parted with so much to bring Blake to Detroit. Rohan Nadkarni,, "The Problem with the Pistons' Blake Griffin Experiment," 16 Mar. 2018 But there are plenty of defensible reasons to stay the course, too. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "For Spurs, one option still unthinkable," 30 June 2018 But the Helms hadn't set out to create defensible space. Anne Ryman, azcentral, "5 years later: 5 new things about fire that killed Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighters," 24 June 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

25 Aug 2018

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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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lying above or upon

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