[dih-fens or especially for 7, 9, dee-fens]


verb (used with object), de·fensed, de·fens·ing.

Sports. to defend against (an opponent, play, or tactic).

Nearby words

  1. defender,
  2. defender of the bond,
  3. defender of the faith,
  4. defenestrate,
  5. defenestration,
  6. defense mechanism,
  7. defenseless,
  8. defenseman,
  9. defensible,
  10. defensive

Also especially British, defence.

Origin of defense

1250–1300; Middle English < Old French < Late Latin dēfēnsa a forbidding, noun use of feminine of past participle of Latin dēfendere to defend; replacing Middle English defens < Anglo-French, Old French < Medieval Latin defēnsum (thing) forbidden, neuter past participle of Latin dēfendere

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

Examples from the Web for defenseless

Word Origin and History for defenseless
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Medicine definitions for defenseless




A means or method that helps protect the body or mind, as against disease or anxiety.
Related formsde•fensive (-fĕnsĭv) adj.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.