View synonyms for defendant


[ dih-fen-duhnt -dant ]


  1. Law. a person, company, etc., against whom a claim or charge is brought in a court ( plaintiff ).
  2. Obsolete. defender.


  1. making one's defense; defending:

    a defendant corporation.

  2. Obsolete. defensive.


/ dɪˈfɛndənt /


  1. a person against whom an action or claim is brought in a court of law Compare plaintiff


  1. making a defence; defending


  1. The party that is being sued in court. ( Compare plaintiff .)

Discover More

Other Words From

  • nonde·fendant noun
  • unde·fendant adjective

Discover More

Word History and Origins

Origin of defendant1

First recorded in 1275–1325; Middle English defendaunt, from Anglo-French ( Middle French, Old French defendant ). See defend, -ant

Discover More

Example Sentences

The defendants, wearing helmets, vests and tactical gear marked with fluorescent orange tape, “appeared to gesture and communicate to one another” to coordinate efforts during and after forcing entry to the Capitol, the FBI alleged.

Webster’s attorney, Kevin Karpinski, and attorneys for the other defendants did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

It will certainly be interesting to see how the defendants frame their responses.

“It appears the defendant does not believe in the rule of law and is a threat to people in the Capitol building,” the judge said.

Essentially, the defendant was radicalized to the point where he wanted to act out, it wasn’t talk.

“Defendant moved his hands in a manner so as to avoid the application of handcuffs to his wrists,” the complaint says.

The complaint continues, “During this period of time, defendant escaped police custody.”

They obtained a gag order against the defendant and his lawyers restricting what they could say about the case for several months.

“He might want 50 of this size and 40 of these,” said Crowder, who has been named as a defendant in dozens of lawsuits.

“The defendant told me he did not want to go back so jail,” the affidavit says.

In a trial in the King's Bench, Mr. Erskine, counsel for the defendant, was charged by his opponent with traveling out of his way.

He was defendant in the breach of promise suit brought by a notorious London actress, then playing in a popular revue.

The commissioners were unanimously of opinion it was a good fifteen-penny copy of the defendant's countenance.

It is enough if the defendant induces an ill opinion to be held of the plaintiff, or to make him contemptible or ridiculous.

The other defendant, being in good health and not being a ward of the Government, would have to stand committed to jail for trial.


Related Words

Word of the Day


[ak-suh-lot-l ]

Meaning and examples

Start each day with the Word of the Day in your inbox!

By clicking "Sign Up", you are accepting Terms & Conditions and Privacy Policies.