From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdefendde‧fend /dɪˈfend/ ●●● S3 W3 verb 1 [intransitive, transitive]DEFEND to do something in order to protect someone or something from being attacked a struggle to defend our homelanddefend something against/from something the need to defend democracy against fascismdefend yourself (against/from somebody/something) advice on how women can defend themselves from sex attackersdefend against We need to defend against military aggression.2 [transitive]DEFEND to use arguments to protect something or someone from criticism, or to prove that something is right opp attack She was always defending her husband in front of their daughter. Students should be ready to explain and defend their views.defend somebody against/from somebody/something He defended his wife against rumours and allegations.defend yourself (against/from something) Cooper wrote to the journal immediately, defending himself.RegisterIn everyday English, people usually say stand up for someone rather than defend someone:She was the only person who stood up for me at the meeting.3 [transitive]DEFEND to do something in order to stop something from being taken away or in order to make it possible for something to continue the workers’ attempts to defend their interests We are defending the right to demonstrate.4 [intransitive, transitive]DS to protect your own team’s end of the field in a game such as football, in order to prevent your opponents from getting points opp attack Bournemouth defended well throughout the game.5 [transitive]DSCOMPETITION to take part in a competition that you won the last time it was held, and try to win it again The world champion was defending his title. the defending champion He is defending a Labour majority of 5,000.6 [intransitive, transitive]SCT to be a lawyer for someone who has been charged with a crime opp prosecute He had top lawyers to defend him. Howard, defending, said Thompson had been drinking heavily.THESAURUSdefend to say something to support an idea or person when other people are criticizing themThe mayor defended the action, saying that it was the best option.stand up for somebody/something to strongly defend someone who is being criticized, or strongly defend your ideas or your rightsMy grandfather would always stand up for what was right.I don't want him fighting, but I do want him to stand up for himself.stick up for somebody informal to strongly defend someone who is being criticized, especially when no one else will defend themThe other kids tease her, but Sarah often sticks up for her.come to somebody's defence British English (also come to somebody's defense American English) to say something to defend someone who is being criticizedAitken's colleagues quickly came to his defence. → See Verb table
Examples from the Corpusdefend• Kelly had another good solid game, making a couple of very good runs forward, and using his pace when defending.• Freis defended a local radio station in a discrimination suit.• It's difficult to defend a sport that involves hurting animals.• She has repeatedly tried to defend her husband against hostile criticism in the press.• Cox moved quickly to defend her record as state senator.• Eliot, who might have defended himself, let Shildon's bitterness go unremarked.• Carson claims he was defending himself when he struck the other man.• Carey vigorously defended his fund-raising methods.• The Fire Chief defended his staff and said that they had done everything possible to save the girl's life.• Everyone was shouting at me, and I never got a chance to defend myself.• She is the current two-time defending national rhythmic gymnastics champion.• For 42 desperate minutes Boro defended stoutly, but held on.• US troops in Panama will only be used to defend the Canal.• The castle was built in 1549 to defend the island against invaders.• Hundreds of soldiers died while defending the town.• Her speech defended the workers' right to strike.• The union said they would take action to defend their members' jobs.• For the rest of the year they wander their home ranges or defend their territories against all-comers.• But if the worst happens, you have every right to defend yourself with reasonable force.defend yourself (against/from somebody/something)• But I will not defend myself.• Much easier to turn on poor folk like Gladys Brown, who couldn't defend themselves.• So we have to defend ourselves.• She had only meant to defend herself, but it had come out all wrong.• Dara seized a kitchen knife and tried to defend himself, but the thugs overpowered him.• Mr Greenspan could, and would, defend himself by arguing that the world had changed dramatically over the intervening decade.• In defending itself so thoroughly against the monarch, the milkweed became inseparable from the butterfly.• I defended myself when I had to, but that doesn't make me a killer.defend yourself (against/from something)• But I will not defend myself.• Much easier to turn on poor folk like Gladys Brown, who couldn't defend themselves.• So we have to defend ourselves.• She had only meant to defend herself, but it had come out all wrong.• Dara seized a kitchen knife and tried to defend himself, but the thugs overpowered him.• Mr Greenspan could, and would, defend himself by arguing that the world had changed dramatically over the intervening decade.• In defending itself so thoroughly against the monarch, the milkweed became inseparable from the butterfly.• I defended myself when I had to, but that doesn't make me a killer.defend ... interests• Key conflicts concern relationships between departments and the outside world; ministers are expected to help defend departmental interests.• Media groups invest huge sums on lobbying and in political donations to defend their interests.• The pro-reform directors are now organising to defend these interests.• The problem is not just one of specialist areas defending their territorial interests.• Workers' organisations were then created and expanded, with the assistance of patronage, but in order to defend workers' interests.• Everyone is defending the interests of his own farmers..• In order to insure that those who defend their interests stay in power.• We have defended Britain's interests with vigour and with success.defending ... title• But her agent said she was still hopeful of defending her Wimbledon title.• Agassi lift: Andre Agassi's chances of defending his Wimbledon title have lifted.• While Johnson was prevented from defending his title in the United States, Ali had his taken from him.• In the Ladies' Singles, Jenny Binns is defending the title she won for the first time last year.