Definition of Defender of the Faith from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary


Defender of the Faith

; NAmE
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a title used by all kings and queens of England since the 16th century. The abbreviation of the title's Latin form, Fidei Defensor, is FD or FID DEF, and this appears on every British coin. The title was first given to King Henry VIII by Pope Leo X after Henry's defence of the Roman Catholic faith against the teachings of Martin Luther. But the title was taken away when England left the Roman Catholic Church. King Henry then asked the English Parliament to give him the same title with a different meaning: defender of the Church of England.