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