defense

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

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

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

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 formsde·fense·less, adjectivede·fense·less·ly, adverbde·fense·less·ness, nounnon·de·fense, noun, adjectivepre·de·fense, nounun·de·fensed, adjective

Synonyms for defense

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

Word Origin and History for pre-defense

defense

n.

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

pre-defense in Medicine

defense

[dĭ-fĕns]

n.

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.