American English

Definition of defend verb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    Verb Forms present simple I / you / we / they defend
    he / she / it defends
    past simple defended
    -ing form defending
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    protect against attack
  1. 1[transitive, intransitive] to protect someone or something from attack defend somebody/yourself/something Troops have been sent to defend the borders. defend somebody/yourself/something from/against somebody/something All our officers are trained to defend themselves against knife attacks. The male ape defends his females from other males. defend against somebody/something It is impossible to defend against an all-out attack.
  2. support
  3. 2[transitive] to say or write something in support of someone or something that has been criticized defend something How can you defend such behavior? He defended his decision to punish the boy. defend somebody/yourself/something from/against somebody/something Politicians are skilled at defending themselves against their critics.
  4. in sports
  5. 3[intransitive, transitive] defend (something) (in sports) to protect your own goal to stop your opponents from scoring opposite attack
  6. in competitions
  7. 4[transitive] defend something to take part in a competition that you won the last time and try to win it again He is defending champion. She will be defending her title at next month's championships. (politics) He intends to defend his seat in the next election.
  8. law
  9. 5[transitive, intransitive] defend (somebody/yourself) to act as a lawyer for someone who has been charged with a crime He has employed one of the country's top lawyers to defend him. Smith has announced that she will defend herself in the case. compare prosecute
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: defend