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public defender

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noun
  1. a lawyer appointed or elected by a city or county as a full-time, official defender to represent indigents in criminal cases at public expense.

Origin of public defender

First recorded in 1915–20
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
British Dictionary definitions for public defender

public defender

noun
  1. (in the US) a lawyer engaged at public expense to represent indigent defendants
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

public defender in Culture

public defender

An attorney who is appointed and paid by a court to defend poor persons who cannot afford a lawyer.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.