noun, verb (used with object), de·fenced, de·fenc·ing. Chiefly British.

Nearby words

  1. defective virus,
  2. defective year,
  3. defectively,
  4. defector,
  5. defederalize,
  6. defence in depth,
  7. defence mechanism,
  8. defenceless,
  9. defend,
  10. defendant

Related forms Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for defence

British Dictionary definitions for defence


US defense


resistance against danger, attack, or harm; protection
a person or thing that provides such resistance
a plea, essay, speech, etc, in support of something; vindication; justification
  1. a country's military measures or resources
  2. (as modifier)defence spending
law a defendant's denial of the truth of the allegations or charge against him
law the defendant and his legal advisers collectivelyCompare prosecution
  1. the action of protecting oneself, one's goal, or one's allotted part of the playing area against an opponent's attacks
  2. the method of doing this
  3. the defencethe players in a team whose function is to do this
American football (usually preceded by the)
  1. the team that does not have possession of the ball
  2. the members of a team that play in such circumstances
psychoanal See defence mechanism
(plural) fortifications
Derived Formsdefenceless or US defenseless, adjectivedefencelessly or US defenselessly, adverbdefencelessness or US defenselessness, noun

Word Origin for defence

C13: from Old French, from Late Latin dēfensum, past participle of dēfendere to defend

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

Word Origin and History for defence


see defense.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper