|Origin:||defendre, from Latin defendere, from fendere 'to hit'|
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
We need to defend against military aggression.
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.
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.
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.