definitions
  • synonyms

defend

[ dih-fend ]
/ dɪˈfɛnd /
||
SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR defend ON THESAURUS.COM

verb (used with object)

verb (used without object)

Law. to enter or make a defense.

RELATED CONTENT

The Saddest Phrases In The English LanguageRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.
READ MORE

RELATED WORDS

protector, supporter, sponsor, guardian

Nearby words

defederalize, defence, defence in depth, defence mechanism, defenceless, defend, defendant, defender, defender of the bond, defender of the faith, defenestrate

Origin of defend

1200–50; Middle English defenden < Old French defendre < Latin dēfendere to ward off, equivalent to dē- de- + -fendere to strike
SYNONYMS FOR defend
Related forms

Synonym study

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

Examples from the Web for defender

British Dictionary definitions for defender

defend

/ (dɪˈfɛnd) /

verb

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 Formsdefendable, 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