Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Law The party against which an action is brought.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. In civil proceedings, the party responding to the complaint; one who is sued and called upon to make satisfaction for a wrong complained of by another.
  • n. In criminal proceedings, the accused.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Serving, or suitable, for defense; defensive.
  • adj. Making defense.
  • n. One who defends; a defender.
  • n. A person required to make answer in an action or suit; -- opposed to plaintiff.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Defensive; proper for defense.
  • In law, making defense; being in the attitude of a defendant: as, the party defendant.
  • n. One who defends against an assailant, or against the approach of evil or danger; a defender.
  • n. In law, a party sued in a court of law, whether in a civil or a criminal proceeding; one who is summoned into court, that he may have opportunity to defend, deny, or oppose the demand or charge, and maintain his own right.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a person or institution against whom an action is brought in a court of law; the person being sued or accused

Etymologies

From defend +‎ -ant (Wiktionary)

Examples

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