- 1 [uncountable] the act of protecting someone or something from attack, criticism, etc. soldiers who died in defense of their country When her brother was criticized she leapt to his defense. What points can be raised in defense of this argument? I have to say in her defense that she knew nothing about it beforehand. see also self-defense
- 2 [countable, uncountable] defense (against something) something that provides protection against attack from enemies, the weather, illness, etc. The town walls were built as a defense against enemy attacks. The harbor's sea defenses are in poor condition. The body has natural defense mechanisms to protect it from disease. Humor is a more effective defense than violence.
- 3 [uncountable] the organization of the people and systems that are used by a government to protect a country from attack the Department of Defense Further cuts in defense spending are being considered. support
- 4[countable] something that is said or written in order to support something a defense of Marxism law
- 5[countable] what is said in court to prove that a person did not commit a crime; the act of presenting this argument in court Her defense was that she was somewhere completely different at the time of the crime. He wanted to conduct his own defense.
- 6the defense [singular] the lawyer or lawyers whose job is to prove in court that a person did not commit a crime compare prosecution in sports
- 7 NAmE//ˈdifɛns//[singular, uncountable] the players who must prevent the other team from scoring; the position of these players on the sports field The Lakers broke through the defense to score the winning basket. He plays on defense. compare offense
- 8[countable] a contest, game, etc. in which the previous winner or winners compete in order to try to win again New England's defense of the Super Bowl title
protection against attack
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