Defend De*fend" (d[-e]*f[e^]nd"), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Defended}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Defending}.] [F. d['e]fendre, L. defendere; de- + fendere (only in comp.) to strike; perh. akin to Gr. qei`nein to strike, and E. dint. Cf. {Dint}, {Defense}, {Fend}.] 1. To ward or fend off; to drive back or away; to repel. [A Latinism & Obs.] [1913 Webster]

Th' other strove for to defend The force of Vulcan with his might and main. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

2. To prohibit; to forbid. [Obs.] --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]

Which God defend that I should wring from him. --Shak.

3. To repel danger or harm from; to protect; to secure against attack; to maintain against force or argument; to uphold; to guard; as, to defend a town; to defend a cause; to defend character; to defend the absent; -- sometimes followed by from or against; as, to defend one's self from, or against, one's enemies. [1913 Webster]

The lord mayor craves aid . . . to defend the city. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

God defend the right! --Shak. [1913 Webster]

A village near it was defended by the river. --Clarendon. [1913 Webster]

4. (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. --Burrill.

Syn: To {Defend}, {Protect}.

Usage: To defend is literally to ward off; to protect is to cover so as to secure against approaching danger. We defend those who are attacked; we protect those who are liable to injury or invasion. A fortress is defended by its guns, and protected by its wall. [1913 Webster]

As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it. --Is. xxxi. 5. [1913 Webster]

Leave not the faithful side That gave thee being, still shades thee and protects. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • defend — de·fend vt 1: to drive danger or attack away from using a weapon to defend oneself 2: to act as attorney for (a defendant) appointed to defend the accused 3: to deny or oppose the rights of a plaintiff in regard to (a suit or claim) intend to… …   Law dictionary

  • defend — de‧fend [dɪˈfend] verb [transitive] LAW 1. if a lawyer defends someone charged with a crime, he or she represents that person and argues that they are not guilty of the charge 2. to do something in order to stop something being taken away or to… …   Financial and business terms

  • defend — 1 Defend, protect, shield, guard, safeguard mean to keep secure from danger or against attack. Defend implies the use of means to ward off something that actually threatens or to repel something that actually attacks {raise a large army to defend …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • defend — mid 13c., from O.Fr. defendre (12c.) defend, resist, and directly from L. defendere ward off, protect, guard, allege in defense, from de from, away (see DE (Cf. de )) + fendere to strike, push, from PIE root *gwhen to strike, kill (see BANE (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • defend — [v1] protect avert, battle, beat off, bulwark, care for, cherish, conserve, contend, cover, entrench, espouse, fend off, fight, fight for, fortify, foster, garrison, guard, guard against, hedge, hold, hold at bay, house, insure, keep safe, look… …   New thesaurus

  • defend — ► VERB 1) resist an attack on; protect from harm or danger. 2) conduct the case for (the party being accused or sued) in a lawsuit. 3) attempt to justify. 4) compete to retain (a title or seat) in a contest or election. 5) (in sport) protect one… …   English terms dictionary

  • defend — [dē fend′, difend′] vt. [ME defenden < OFr defendre < L defendere, to ward off, repel < de , away, from + fendere, to strike < IE base * gwhen , to strike > Gr theinein, to kill, strike, OE guth, combat] 1. a) to guard from attack; …   English World dictionary

  • defend */*/*/ — UK [dɪˈfend] / US verb Word forms defend : present tense I/you/we/they defend he/she/it defends present participle defending past tense defended past participle defended 1) [transitive] to protect someone or something from attack Thousands of… …   English dictionary

  • defend — de|fend W3S3 [dıˈfend] v [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: defendre, from Latin defendere, from fendere to hit ] 1.) [I and T] to do something in order to protect someone or something from being attacked ▪ a struggle to defend our homeland… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • defend — de|fend [ dı fend ] verb *** ▸ 1 protect from attack ▸ 2 speak to support someone/something ▸ 3 prevent something from failing ▸ 4 in law ▸ 5 try to win again ▸ 6 in sports 1. ) transitive to protect someone or something from attack: Thousands of …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

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