Related topics: Sport, Defence
de‧fence S2 W1 British English ; defense American English


a) [uncountable] the act of protecting something or someone from attack
defence of
In Britain, the defence of the country has historically been left to the navy.
a firm commitment to the defense of human rights
The first line of defence is a smoke detector.
b) [countable] something that can be used to protect something or someone from attack:
The area's flood defences need repair.
defence against
The immune system is the body's defence against infection.


a) [uncountable] all the systems, people, materials etc that a country uses to protect itself from attack:
calls for a national debate on defence
the Defense Department


British English ; defenses American English [plural] all the armies, weapons, structures etc that are available to defend a place:
The invading army easily overcame the town's defences.

against criticism

[uncountable and countable] something that you say or do in order to support someone or something that is being criticized
in somebody's/something's defence
Jean wrote a letter to the paper in Angela's defense.
defence of
a philosophical defence of nationalism
come/leap to somebody's defence
Evelyn Waugh came to Wilson's defence and acknowledged the brilliance of the book's themes.

in a law court

a) [countable]SCL the things that are said in a court of law to prove that someone is not guilty of a crime:
Major has a good defence and believes he will win the case.
a defence lawyer

the defence

SCL all the lawyers who try to prove in a court of law that someone is not guilty of a crime:
The defense called only one witness.
prosecution (2)


[countable]MP something you do or a way of behaving that prevents you from seeming weak or being hurt by others:
Liz dropped her defences and began to relax.


[countable] British EnglishDS the players in a game whose main job is to try to prevent the other team from getting points
people in a court of law: judge, magistrate, jury, defence British English/defense American English, prosecution, defendant, witness, attorney, lawyer, barrister British English, solicitor British English, district attorney American English

what happens in a court case:At the beginning of the trial, the person who is accused pleads guilty or not guilty to the charges against them. The lawyers for the prosecution try to prove that the defendant is guilty, and the lawyers for the defence try to prove that their client is innocent. The judge and the jury examine the evidence and listen to the testimony of the witnesses. At the end of the trial, the judge then sums up the case, and the jury then gives their verdict. If the person is found guilty, the judge sentences them to a period of time in prison, or orders them to pay a fine. If the person is found not guilty, they are released.

See also

Dictionary results for "defence"
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