defend[dē fend′, di-]
This little girl is ready to defend herself.
An example of defend is to stand up for a person who is being picked on by bullies.
- to guard from attack; keep from harm or danger; protect
- to protect (a goal, etc.) against scoring by an opponent
- to support, maintain, or justify: defend one's conduct
- to oppose (an action)
- to plead (one's cause) in defense
- to act as lawyer for (an accused)
Origin of defendMiddle English defenden ; from Old French defendre ; from Classical Latin defendere, to ward off, repel ; from de-, away, from + fendere, to strike ; from Indo-European base an unverified form gwhen-, to strike from source Classical Greek theinein, to kill, strike, Old English guth, combat
verbde·fend·ed, de·fend·ing, de·fends
- a. To make or keep safe from danger, attack, or harm: a vaccine to defend the body from infection.b. To engage in or be prepared to engage in battle to prevent (a population or area, for example) from being captured or occupied by an enemy.
- Sports a. To attempt to prevent the opposition from scoring while playing in or near (a goal or area of a field, for example).b. To be responsible for guarding (an opposing player).
- To compete against a challenger in an attempt to retain (a championship).
- To support or maintain, as by argument or action; justify: defended his friend's behavior.
- Law a. To represent (a defendant) in a civil or criminal action.b. To attempt to disprove or invalidate (the claim made by a lawsuit or prosecution): defend a class action; defend a criminal case.
- To make a defense.
- Sports To play defense.
Origin of defendMiddle English defenden, from Old French defendre, from Latin dēfendere, to ward off; see gwhen- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present defends, present participle defending, simple past and past participle defended)
- To ward off attacks from; to fight to protect; to guard.
- To support by words or writing; to vindicate, talk in favour of.
- (law) To make legal defence of; to represent (the accused).
- (sports) To focus one's energies and talents on preventing opponents from scoring, as opposed to focusing on scoring.
- (sports) To attempt to retain a title, or attempt to reach the same stage in a competition as one did in the previous edition of that competition.
- (poker slang) To call a raise from the big blind.
Middle English defenden, from Old French deffendre (Modern: défendre), from Latin dēfendō (“to ward off”).
defend - Legal Definition