Definitions for: Defend


[v] protect or fight for as a champion
[v] argue or speak in defense of; "She supported the motion to strike"
[v] state or assert; "He maintained his innocence"
[v] fight against or resist strongly; "The senator said he would oppose the bill"; "Don't fight it!"
[v] be on the defensive; act against an attack
[v] protect against a challenge or attack; "Hold that position behind the trees!"; "Hold the bridge against the enemy's attacks"
[v] be the defense counsel for someone in a trial; "Ms. Smith will represent the defendant"



Webster (1913) Definition: De*fend", v. t. [imp. & p. p. Defended; p. pr. & vb.
n. Defending.] [F. d['e]fendre, L. defendere; de- + fendere
(only in comp.) to strike; perh. akin to Gr. ? to strike, and
E. dint. Cf. Dint, Defense, Fend.]
1. To ward or fend off; to drive back or away; to repel. [A
Latinism & Obs.]

Th' other strove for to defend The force of Vulcan
with his might and main. --Spenser.

2. To prohibit; to forbid. [Obs.] --Chaucer.

Which God defend that I should wring from him.
--Shak.


3. To repel danger or harm from; to protect; to secure
against; attack; to maintain against force or argument; to
uphold; to guard; as, to defend a town; to defend a cause;
to defend character; to defend the absent; -- sometimes
followed by from or against; as, to defend one's self
from, or against, one's enemies.

The lord mayor craves aid . . . to defend the city.
--Shak.

God defend the right! --Shak.

A village near it was defended by the river.
--Clarendon.

4. (Law.) To deny the right of the plaintiff in regard to
(the suit, or the wrong charged); to oppose or resist, as
a claim at law; to contest, as a suit. --Burrill.

Syn: To Defend, Protect.

Usage: To defend is literally to ward off; to protect is to
cover so as to secure against approaching danger. We
defend those who are attacked; we protect those who
are liable to injury or invasion. A fortress is
defended by its guns, and protected by its wall.

As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts
defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver
it. --Is. xxxi. 5.

Leave not the faithful side That gave thee
being, still shades thee and protects. --Milton.

Synonyms: champion, fend for, fight, fight back, fight down, guard, hold, maintain, oppose, represent, support

Antonyms: assail, attack, prosecute

See Also: affirm, apologise, apologize, argue, arrest, back, bulwark, check, contain, drive back, endorse, excuse, fend, fight off, hold back, hold out, justify, keep, plump for, plunk for, prevent, protect, rationalise, rationalize, reason, rebuff, recalcitrate, repel, repulse, resist, stand, stand firm, stand up, stick up, stop, struggle, support, turn back, uphold, vindicate, ward off, withstand

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