Definition of defendant in English:


Syllabification: de·fend·ant
Pronunciation: /diˈfendənt


  • An individual, company, or institution sued or accused in a court of law. Compare with plaintiff.
    More example sentences
    • In fact the tenant was not treated less favourably than a defendant in the High Court.
    • The plaintiffs alleged trespass and the defendants claimed that they had a profit of grazing.
    • The claimant and all three defendants were represented at the hearing of the application.
    accused, prisoner (at the bar); appellant, litigant, respondent; suspect


Middle English (as an adjective in the sense 'defending'): from Old French, 'warding off', present participle of defendre (see defend).

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elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody