Definition of defense in English:

defense

Syllabification: de·fense
Pronunciation: /dəˈfens
 
, ˈdēˌfens
 
/
(British defence)

noun

1The action of defending from or resisting attack: they relied on missiles for the country’s defense she came to the defense of the eccentric professor
More example sentences
  • We will match their determination with our own; we will be as resolute as they are fanatical; as strong in defence of good as they are hell-bent on doing evil.
  • Were they standing firm in defence of our traditional country sports?
  • My article was rather a statement not just in my own defence, but in defence of the whole tradition of the kind of fiction that I belong to.
Synonyms
protection, guarding, security, fortification;
resistance, deterrent
vindication, justification, support, advocacy, endorsement;
1.1Attempted justification or vindication of something: he spoke in defense of a disciplined approach
More example sentences
  • Well, in defense of the California press corps, there's really been a tradition of fairly boring politicians for many years in California.
  • Well, in defense of the press - and I know you know this - it's hard to cover someone like Arnold.
  • That explains why most conservatives present very poor arguments in defense of their ideas (witness The Fray).
1.2An instance of defending a title or seat in a contest or election: his first title defense against Jones
More example sentences
  • He hints that his place in the pantheon is not yet secure, though Saturday's contest will extend to eight his record of world title defences.
  • Fast forward to the present day and it turns out that the current European Championships are staging a whole host of title defences.
  • And, of course, Mike and Kitty are the proud possessors of Jim's Lonsdale Belt won for those successful defences on his British title.
1.3Military measures or resources for protecting a country: the minister of defense [as modifier]: defense policy
More example sentences
  • The gap is a function of demographics, strategy, defense spending, and military policy.
  • Those who formulate defense policy and military strategy must learn to see beyond the immediate and the obvious.
  • Differences in population growth create fundamental trends that influence military strategy and defence policy.
Synonyms
the military, the armed forces
1.4A means of protecting something from attack: education is the best defense against tyranny
More example sentences
  • The main defence against them is protective clothing - gas masks and special suits made of rubber or treated synthetic cloth.
  • Everyone at the barrier, considered by Bogside people to be their main line of defence, was either dead or wounded.
  • His study identified a variety of ways that a bank employee could defeat the main line of defence in the central security system guarding PIN numbers.
1.5 (defenses) Fortifications or barriers against attack: coastal defenses
More example sentences
  • The Romans also developed tunnelling for military purposes, either by breaking through behind enemy defences or by undermining fortifications to cause their collapse.
  • In the first six months of 1944 Rommel strongly reinforced the defences and placed obstacles on all large beaches.
  • Outside the main defences lay large outworks such as the Terra Nova and Fort William.
Synonyms
barricade, fortification;
fortress, keep, rampart, bulwark, bastion
1.6(In sports) the action or role of defending one’s goal against the opposition: we played solid defense
More example sentences
  • Their defense played a huge role in helping them reach the playoffs for the third time in Edwards' four seasons.
  • The Colombia goalkeeper marshalled a defence that conceded 21 goals in 34 league games.
  • Good goal keeping and a solid defence prevented Oakworth getting an equaliser.
1.7 (the defense) The players in a team who defend the goal.
More example sentences
  • Stam played, and against a modest team United's defence conceded two goals.
  • The very sight of a player running through the defence holding the stick in one hand and guiding the ball throughout as if it was glued to the stick is something to behold.
  • Part of the dismal run is the team's porous defence which has conceded an incredible 52 goals in 29 matches.
2The case presented by or on behalf of the party being accused or sued in a lawsuit.
More example sentences
  • It is clear law that in any context in which consent of the injured party is a defence to what would otherwise be a crime or a civil wrong, the consent must be real.
  • One of these standards is that an accused person must be given full opportunity to present his defence.
  • In its defence the Third Party has admitted liability by the defendant but denies any obligation for contribution or indemnity.
Synonyms
3
More example sentences
  • After a mistrial, could the prosecution or defense hire a former jury member as an adviser for the retrial?
  • This must have made him seem to the Thomas More Law Center as an excellent witness for the defense in the trial.
  • Still, the prosecution and defense agreed that his nighttime forays into the girl's bed were wrong beyond a doubt.
3 (usually the defense) [treated as singular or plural] One or more defendants and the counsel in a trial: the defense requested more time to prepare their case
More example sentences
  • The magistrates agreed to the defence counsel's application for the defendants' costs to be taxed and paid out of central funds.
  • Later on the same day, the required documentation was sent by the plaintiff's solicitor to defence counsel.
  • The judge also left provocation to the jury, though the defence did not request this.

Origin

Middle English: from Old French defens, from late Latin defensum (neuter), defensa (feminine), past participles of defendere 'defend'.

Phrases

defense in depth

The practice of arranging defensive lines or fortifications so that they can defend each other, especially in case of an enemy incursion.
More example sentences
  • It has been claimed that fortified defence lines, supported by defence in depth, were an outmoded concept in the face of a warfare of movement.
  • In the 1720s, the strategic military forces were concentrated around Moscow, able to deploy to any theater, while a series of fortified lines were constructed along the outer perimeters to provide a defense in depth.
  • As the Stalin Line had been largely dismantled, there was no defence in depth.

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