Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Topic: LAW

Date: 1200-1300
Language: Old French
Origin: defendre, from Latin defendere, from fendere 'to hit'

defend

verb
     
de‧fend S3 W3
1 [intransitive and transitive] to do something in order to protect someone or something from being attacked:
a struggle to defend our homeland
defend something against/from something
the need to defend democracy against fascism
defend yourself (against/from somebody/something)
advice on how women can defend themselves from sex attackers
defend against
We need to defend against military aggression.
2 [transitive] to use arguments to protect something or someone from criticism, or to prove that something is right:
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.
Cooper wrote to the journal immediately, defending himself.
3 [transitive] 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 and 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:
Bournemouth defended well throughout the game.
5 [transitive]DS 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.
He is defending a Labour majority of 5,000.
6 [intransitive and transitive]SCL to be a lawyer for someone who has been charged with a crime [↪ prosecute]:
He had top lawyers to defend him.
Howard, defending, said Thompson had been drinking heavily.
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