- to ward off attack from; guard against assault or injury (usually followed by from or against): The sentry defended the gate against sudden attack.
- to maintain by argument, evidence, etc.; uphold: She defended her claim successfully.
- to contest (a legal charge, claim, etc.).
- Law. to serve as attorney for (a defendant): He has defended some of the most notorious criminals.
- to support (an argument, theory, etc.) in the face of criticism; prove the validity of (a dissertation, thesis, or the like) by answering arguments and questions put by a committee of specialists.
- to attempt to retain (a championship title, position, etc.), as in a competition against a challenger.
- Law. to enter or make a defense.
Origin of defend
SynonymsSee more synonyms for defend on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for undefended
Two weeks in the world of wholesome niceness also leaves you undefended and strangely serene and a bit childlike.My Week At An Austrian Fat Camp
October 27, 2013
Thus a stark choice is upon us: We can spend what is necessary to defend the seas, or we can leave them undefended.Obama Lets the Pirates Off
Stephen L. Carter
July 22, 2011
Straight at Peter's undefended face drove Morella's lance, but lo!Fair Margaret
H. Rider Haggard
Could we not make a sortie and destroy the boats that lay down there all undefended?Marjorie
Justin Huntly McCarthy
Show this Letter to everybody, that it may be known the State is not undefended.History of Friedrich II. of Prussia, Vol. XIX. (of XXI.)
On this rich and undefended country the hungry Roman army was let loose.Historic Tales, Volume 11 (of 15)
It will be an hotel over here and the case will be undefended.Adrienne Toner
Anne Douglas Sedgwick
- not having people to provide resistance against danger, attack, or harm
- 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
Word Origin and History for undefended
mid-13c., from Old French defendre (12c.) "defend, resist," and directly from Latin defendere "ward off, protect, guard, allege in defense," from de- "from, away" (see de-) + -fendere "to strike, push," from PIE root *gwhen- "to strike, kill" (see bane). In the Mercian hymns, Latin defendet is glossed by Old English gescildeð. Related: Defended; defending.