- to ward off attack from; guard against assault or injury (usually followed by from or against): The sentry defended the gate against sudden attack.
- to maintain by argument, evidence, etc.; uphold: She defended her claim successfully.
- to contest (a legal charge, claim, etc.).
- Law. to serve as attorney for (a defendant): He has defended some of the most notorious criminals.
- to support (an argument, theory, etc.) in the face of criticism; prove the validity of (a dissertation, thesis, or the like) by answering arguments and questions put by a committee of specialists.
- to attempt to retain (a championship title, position, etc.), as in a competition against a challenger.
- Law. to enter or make a defense.
Origin of defend
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for defender
He could be remade into a defender of the environment, a preserver of habitats and champion of rainforest ecology.Can Tarzan of the Apes Survive in a Post-Colonial World?
November 23, 2014
Meanwhile, U.S. defender Matt Besler, who seemed a bit dinged up after that Portugal stunner, will be good to go.USA vs. Germany World Cup Primer: Everything You Need to Know About the Epic Showdown
June 26, 2014
When her opponents chose a blacksmith as their champion, she produced the same type of defender.The ‘GOT’ Red Viper and Mountain Duel, and a History of Medieval Trial by Combat
June 3, 2014
This time, he gallops onto the national stage as defender of the faith—a stance that may open some pocketbooks.The Bill Nye-Ken Ham Debate Was a Nightmare for Science
February 5, 2014
But, as Adam Kirsch writes, a new collection of essays shows how his political ideology changed him into a defender of oppression.How Jean-Paul Sartre’s Existential Angst Got the Better of Him
June 28, 2013
Can you, who are a defender of the faith, and so forth, assist me?Tales And Novels, Volume 3 (of 10)
Even Serena, defender of the dances of the ancient Greeks, looked shocked.Cap'n Dan's Daughter
Joseph C. Lincoln
His sympathy had been always with the oppressed, and he had now become their defender.Mark Twain, A Biography, 1835-1910, Complete
Albert Bigelow Paine
He is the defender of her rights in his home, and the avenger of her wrongs everywhere.
At any moment the men might return and force her into the rôle of defender.They of the High Trails</p>
- to protect (a person, place, etc) from harm or danger; ward off an attack on
- (tr) to support in the face of criticism, esp by argument or evidence
- to represent (a defendant) in court in a civil or criminal action
- sport to guard or protect (oneself, one's goal, etc) against attack
- (tr) to protect (a championship or title) against a challenge
Word Origin and History for defender
c.1300 (early 13c. as a surname), via Anglo-French, from Old French defendeor, agent noun from defendre (see defend). The Latin word in this sense was defensor.
mid-13c., from Old French defendre (12c.) "defend, resist," and directly from Latin defendere "ward off, protect, guard, allege in defense," from de- "from, away" (see de-) + -fendere "to strike, push," from PIE root *gwhen- "to strike, kill" (see bane). In the Mercian hymns, Latin defendet is glossed by Old English gescildeð. Related: Defended; defending.