verb Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French defendre, from Latin defendere, from de- + -fendere to strike; akin to Old English gūth battle, war, Greek theinein to strike Date: 14th century transitive verb 1. a. to drive danger or attack away from <
defend our shores
b. (1) to maintain or support in the face of argument or hostile criticism <
defend a theory
(2) to prove (as a doctoral thesis) valid by answering questions in an oral exam c. to attempt to prevent an opponent from scoring at <
elects to defend the south goal
2. archaic prevent, forbid 3. to act as attorney for 4. to deny or oppose the right of a plaintiff in regard to (a suit or a wrong charged) ; contest 5. to retain or seek to retain (as a title or position) against a challenge in a contest <
they successfully defended their championship
intransitive verb 1. to take action against attack or challenge 2. to play or be on defense <
playing deep to defend against a pass
3. to play against the high bidder in a card game • defendable adjective Synonyms: defend, protect, shield, guard, safeguard mean to keep secure from danger or against attack. defend denotes warding off actual or threatened attack <
defend the country
. protect implies the use of something (as a covering) as a bar to the admission or impact of what may attack or injure <
a hard hat to protect your head
. shield suggests protective intervention in imminent danger or actual attack <
shielded her eyes from the sun with her hand
. guard implies protecting with vigilance and force against expected danger <
White House entrances are well guarded
. safeguard implies taking precautionary protective measures against merely possible danger <
our civil liberties must be safeguarded
. Synonym: see in addition maintain.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • 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.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 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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