- the practice or art of defending oneself or one's goal against attack, as in fencing, boxing, soccer, or football.
- the team attempting to thwart the attack of the team having the ball or puck.
- the players of a team who line up in their own defensive zone.
- the positions on the field, ice, etc., taken by such players.
verb (used with object), de·fensed, de·fens·ing.
- defender of the bond,
- defender of the faith,
- defense mechanism,
Origin of defense
Examples from the Web for defenseless
I understand why you were so moved that you left your secure, comfortable lives to defend the defenseless in a far off land.An Ex-Radical's Open Letter to ISIS Fighters: Quit Now While You Can!|Maajid Nawaz|September 10, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Heinous acts, especially when perpetrated on defenseless minors, elicit equally heinous responses even in sane minds.
Twenty defenseless children were gunned down by a sick individual.In Between Mass Shootings, the Media Have Been MIA on Guns|Howard Kurtz|December 17, 2012|DAILY BEAST
The U.N. agenda, she said, is “to disarm people,” implying it would leave the defenseless even more so.The National Rifle Association’s Bizarre Colorado Response|James Warren|July 22, 2012|DAILY BEAST
Their ability to launch a surprise strike renders us defenseless.
They did succeed in killing a large number of defenseless men and women, but this was the only result of these attacks.World's War Events, Volume III|Various
The massacre at Jotapata was bad enough, but the slaughter of defenseless men, on the lake, is worse.For the Temple|G. A. Henty
Mother felt that in our present defenseless condition she should not refuse any offers of aid, and thanked him.Life in the Confederate Army|Arthur Peronneau Ford
“Not too busy to try and defeat the scoundrels who are plotting against a defenseless girl,” he cried.The Bartlett Mystery|Louis Tracy
Why does "the subdelegate cause only the defenseless and the unprotected to be drafted?"The Origins of Contemporary France, Volume 1 (of 6)|Hippolyte A. Taine
c.1300, "forbidding, prohibition," also "action of guarding or protecting," from Old French defense, from Latin defensus, past participle of defendere "ward off, protect" (see defend). But it also arrived (without the final -e) from Old French defens, from Latin defensum "thing protected or forbidden," neuter past participle of defendere.
Defens was assimilated into defense, but not before it inspired the alternative spelling defence, via the same tendency that produced hence (hennis), pence (penies), dunce (Duns). First used 1935 as a euphemism for "national military resources." Defense mechanism in psychology is from 1913.