[ dih-fend ]
/ dɪˈfɛnd /
See synonyms for: defend / defended / defending on

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Law. to enter or make a defense.
Sports. to prevent the opposing team from scoring: She’s a freshman who already scores and defends like a professional.



Are you learning Spanish? Or do you just have an interest in foreign languages? Either way, this quiz on Spanish words for animals is for you.
Question 1 of 13
How do you say “cat” 🐈 in Spanish?

Origin of defend

First recorded in 1200–50; Middle English defenden, from Old French défendre, from Latin dēfendere “to ward off, repel,” equivalent to dē- de- + -fendere “to strike”

synonym study for defend

1. Defend, guard, preserve, protect all mean to keep safe. To defend is to strive to keep safe by resisting attack: to defend one's country. To guard is to watch over in order to keep safe: to guard a camp. To preserve is to keep safe in the midst of danger, either in a single instance or continuously: to preserve a spirit of conciliation. To protect is to keep safe by interposing a shield or barrier: to protect books by means of heavy paper covers.

OTHER WORDS FROM defend Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

Example sentences from the Web for defend

British Dictionary definitions for defend

/ (dɪˈfɛnd) /


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

Derived forms of defend

defendable, adjectivedefender, noun

Word Origin for defend

C13: from Old French defendre, from Latin dēfendere to ward off, from de- + -fendere to strike
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