American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition
- v. To make or keep safe from danger, attack, or harm.
- v. Sports To attempt to prevent the opposition from scoring while playing in or near (a goal or area of a field, for example).
- v. Sports To be responsible for guarding (an opposing player).
- v. Sports To compete against a challenger in an attempt to retain (a championship).
- v. To support or maintain, as by argument or action; justify.
- v. Law To represent (a defendant) in a civil or criminal action.
- v. Law To attempt to disprove or invalidate (an action or claim).
- v. To make a defense.
- v. Sports To play defense.
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
- To drive off or away; thrust back; fend or ward off; repel.
- To forbid; prohibit; forefend.
- To ward off attack from; guard against assault or injury; shield: as, to defend a fortress.
- To vindicate; uphold; maintain by force, argument, or evidence: as, to defend one's rights and privileges; to defend a cause or claim at law.
- Synonyms Protect, Shelter, etc. (see keep), guard, shield. Maintain, Vindicate, etc. See assert.
- In law, to make opposition; enter or make defense: as, the party comes into court, defends, and says.
- v. transitive, obsolete To ward off, repel (an attack or attacker).
- v. transitive, obsolete To prevent, to keep (from doing something).
- v. transitive, intransitive, obsolete To prohibit, forbid.
- v. transitive To ward off attacks from; to fight to protect; to guard.
- v. transitive To support by words or writing; to vindicate, talk in favour of.
- v. transitive, law To make legal defence of; to represent (the accused).
- v. sports To focus one's energies and talents on preventing opponents from scoring, as opposed to focusing on scoring.
- v. sports To attempt to retain a title, or attempt to reach the same stage in a competition as one did in the previous edition of that competition.
- v. poker slang To call a raise from the big blind.
GNU Webster's 1913
- v. A Latinism & Obs. To ward or fend off; to drive back or away; to repel.
- v. obsolete To prohibit; to forbid.
- v. To repel danger or harm from; to protect; to secure against attack; to maintain against force or argument; to uphold; to guard; ; -- sometimes followed by
- v. (Law.) To deny the right of the plaintiff in regard to (the suit, or the wrong charged); to oppose or resist, as a claim at law; to contest, as a suit.
- v. protect or fight for as a champion
- v. be the defense counsel for someone in a trial
- v. protect against a challenge or attack
- v. argue or speak in defense of
- v. fight against or resist strongly
- v. be on the defensive; act against an attack
- v. state or assert
- Middle English defenden, from Old French deffendre (Modern: défendre), from Latin dēfendō ("to ward off"). (Wiktionary)
- Middle English defenden, from Old French defendre, from Latin dēfendere, to ward off; see gwhen- in Indo-European roots. (American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
“Though Bush publicly denounced the leak, an unnamed Republican aide on Capitol Hill told the New York Times that the underlying White House strategy was to slime and defend, that is to slime Wilson and defend Bush.”
“Jeffy Bovine might be still lurking around, or will come tomorrow with yet another moniker to again defend some teabagging domestic terrorist like himself.”
“Israel, and every country in the world, has a right to defend is borders.”
“When an American takes lawful action to defend from the crime perpetrated by the intellectual property rights owner, the intellectual property rights owner can use intellectual property laws to sue people for interfering with property rights when they try and stop a theft.”
“I'm of the attitude having an opinion you aren't willing to test and defend is all but worthless.”
“And the only way your sheep can defend is to once again say "but Bush did it" and offer no proof.”
“The only premise I have to defend is that the policies were somehow connected to helping the country.”
“Furthermore, the most difficult offensive maneuver to defend is the screen.”
“DIFFICULT TO DEFEND: The hardest offensive player to defend is the one who is moving.”
“It is great to see these well kept stiff-armed beauties in actions and it makes me nostalgic to my days of building cardboard bases for my Rebels to defend from the evil Empire.”
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