public defender


Definition of public defender

: a lawyer usually holding public office whose duty is to defend accused persons unable to pay for legal assistance

Examples of public defender in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Jackson, 50, is a former public defender and member of the US Sentencing Commission who has served on the District Court in Washington for eight years., 10 June 2021 McClinton, who is also a former public defender, was an ardent supporter of Krasner since his early days campaigning for district attorney. NBC News, 22 May 2021 Bradford Colbert, who teaches at Mitchell Hamline and is a part-time public defender, agreed the defense is likely to argue that Chauvin wasn't indifferent to Floyd, but was distracted. Rochelle Olson, Star Tribune, 17 Apr. 2021 Carroll Foy ties her biography — graduating from Virginia Military Institute and working in low-wage jobs and as a public defender — to her political strategy. Bill Barrow,, 31 May 2021 Dru worked as a Colorado deputy state public defender for a decade before joining her longtime criminal defense partner, Iris Eytan, and Larry Pozner in the criminal division of Reilly Pozner. Bradford Betz, Fox News, 19 May 2021 The Minnesota Judicial Branch website said Cahill began his career as a public defender in Hennepin County in the mid-1980s. Evan Frank, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 10 Mar. 2021 McCall clones his phone and leaves to pose as Jewel's public defender because the teen left the safehouse to attend her scholarship interview, only to get picked up there by the cops. Dana Rose Falcone,, 7 Feb. 2021 While Cooper was working as a public defender in Lansing, Mich., a district court judge asked him to coach his son’s high school team. New York Times, 30 Jan. 2021

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

1822, in the meaning defined above

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Time Traveler for public defender

Time Traveler

The first known use of public defender was in 1822

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Statistics for public defender

Last Updated

21 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Public defender.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Jun. 2021.

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More Definitions for public defender

public defender


English Language Learners Definition of public defender

US : a lawyer who is paid by the government to defend people who are accused of a crime and are unable to pay for a private lawyer

public defender


Legal Definition of public defender

: a lawyer usually holding public office who represents criminal defendants unable to pay for legal assistance

More from Merriam-Webster on public defender

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for public defender Encyclopedia article about public defender


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