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[dih-fen-suh-buh l] /dɪˈfɛn sə bəl/
capable of being defended against assault or injury:
The troops were bivouacked in a defensible position.
that can be defended in argument; justifiable.
Origin of defensible
1250-1300; Middle English < Late Latin defēnsibilis, equivalent to Latin defēns(us) (see defense) + -ibilis -ible; replacing Middle English defensable < Old French < Late Latin defēnsābilis, equivalent to defēnsā(re) (frequentative of dēfendere to defend) + -bilis -ble
Related forms
defensibility, defensibleness, noun
defensibly, adverb
nondefensibility, noun
nondefensible, adjective
nondefensibleness, noun
nondefensibly, adverb
undefensible, adjective
undefensibleness, noun
undefensibly, adverb
2. suitable, fit, tenable, allowable, warrantable. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for defensibility
Historical Examples
  • But its defensibility was practically all the crag fort had to offer by way of attraction.

    Rung Ho! Talbot Mundy
  • Mr. Tallmadge's desire not to be interrupted in the act might have enlightened him as to its defensibility; but he was no casuist.

    The Open Question Elizabeth Robins
  • In ordinary villages the flat-roofed shielings are huddled together without plan or defensibility.

    The Cradle of Mankind W.A. Wigram
  • The defensibility of the site as well as the fertility of the soil pointed it out as the best place for the seat of government.

British Dictionary definitions for defensibility


capable of being defended, as in war, an argument, etc
Derived Forms
defensibility, defensibleness, noun
defensibly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for defensibility



late 13c., from Old French defensable, from Late Latin defensibilem, from Latin defens-, past participle stem of defendere (see defend).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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