What does defend mean?

Definitions for defend

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word defend.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. defend, support, fend forverb

    argue or speak in defense of

    "She supported the motion to strike"

  2. defendverb

    be on the defensive; act against an attack

  3. defend, guard, holdverb

    protect against a challenge or attack

    "Hold that position behind the trees!"; "Hold the bridge against the enemy's attacks"

  4. fight, oppose, fight back, fight down, defendverb

    fight against or resist strongly

    "The senator said he would oppose the bill"; "Don't fight it!"

  5. champion, defendverb

    protect or fight for as a champion

  6. defend, representverb

    be the defense counsel for someone in a trial

    "Ms. Smith will represent the defendant"

  7. maintain, defendverb

    state or assert

    "He maintained his innocence"


  1. defendverb

    To ward off, repel (an attack or attacker).

  2. defendverb

    To prevent, to keep (from doing something).

  3. defendverb

    To prohibit, forbid.

  4. defendverb

    To ward off attacks from; to fight to protect; to guard.

  5. defendverb

    To support by words or writing; to vindicate, talk in favour of.

  6. defendverb

    To make legal defence of; to represent (the accused).

  7. defendverb

    To focus one's energies and talents on preventing opponents from scoring, as opposed to focusing on scoring.

  8. defendverb

    To attempt to retain a title, or attempt to reach the same stage in a competition as one did in the previous edition of that competition.

  9. defendverb

    To call a raise from the big blind.

  10. Etymology: defenden, from deffendre (Modern: défendre), from defendo.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. To DEFENDverb

    Etymology: defendo, Latin; defendre, French.

    There arose, to defend Israel, Tola the son of Puah. Judg.

    Deliver me from mine enemies, O my God: defend me from them that rise up against me. Ps. lix. 1.

    Heav’n defend your souls, that you think
    I will your serious and great business scant. William Shakespeare, Othello.

    The queen on the throne, by God’s assistance, is able to defend herself against all her majesty’s enemies and allies put together. Jonathan Swift, Remarks on the Barrier Treaty.

    And here th’ access a gloomy grove defends,
    And here th’ unnavigable lake extends. John Dryden, Æneis.

    Where can you say, in any manner, age,
    That ever God defended marriage? Geoffrey Chaucer.

    O sons! like one of us, man is become
    To know both good and evil, since his taste
    Of that defended fruit. John Milton, Paradise Lost, b. xi. l. 86.

    The use of it is little practised, and in some places defended by customs or laws. William Temple.


  1. defend

    To defend is to protect or guard against harm or danger, typically in context of an attack or potential threats. It can also refer to resisting or standing up against something that is seen as harmful or undesirable. In a legal setting, to defend means to speak, write, argue, or present evidence in support of someone or something in a court of law. Essentially, it involves the act of offering a resistance to or maintaining a positive stance, argument, or course of action against any form of opposition.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Defendverb

    to ward or fend off; to drive back or away; to repel

  2. Defendverb

    to prohibit; to forbid

  3. Defendverb

    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

  4. Defendverb

    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

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Defend

    de-fend′, v.t. to keep off anything hurtful: to guard or protect: to maintain against attack: (obs.) to prohibit, forbid: (law) to resist, as a claim: to contest.—adj. Defend′able, that may be defended.—ns. Defend′ant, a defender: (law) a person accused or sued; Defendee′, one who is defended; Defend′er; Defen′sative, a protection; Defensibil′ity.—adjs. Defens′ible, that may be defended; Defens′ive, Defen′sory, serving to defend: in a state or posture of defence.—n. that which defends: posture of defence.—adv. Defens′ively.—Defender of the Faith, a title borne by the sovereigns of England since Henry VIII., on whom it was conferred in 1521 for his book against Luther.—Be on the defensive, to be in the position to defend one's self. [L. defendĕre, defensum, to ward off—de, off, and obs. fendĕre, to strike.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. defend

    To secure against attack; to maintain; as, to defend a town; to defend a cause.

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'defend' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #4428

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'defend' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4612

  3. Verbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'defend' in Verbs Frequency: #456

How to pronounce defend?

How to say defend in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of defend in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of defend in Pythagorean Numerology is: 2

Examples of defend in a Sentence

  1. Steffen Mau:

    Many people experienced unemployment, very long periods of insecurity or even existential crisis and the result of that is that they developed a habit of' keeping and defending' and are not willing to accept more social change, populism falls on fertile ground, people are very much willing to say' they defend what we have, they defend our culture, they defend our borders,'.

  2. The President:

    If you go 150 years from now and we've had great success, that's not a number that's even thought to be affordable, it'll kill millions of jobs. It'll crush the dreams of the poorest Americans and disproportionately harm minority communities. I will not stand for it. We will defend the environment, but we will also defend American sovereignty, American prosperity, and we will defend American jobs.

  3. Bryant McGill:

    You do not have to do anything to defend yourself in life; just be beautiful, and life will defend you.

  4. H.L. Mencken:

    All successful newspapers are ceaselessly querulous and bellicose. They never defend anyone or anything if they can help it if the job is forced on them, they tackle it by denouncing someone or something else.

  5. Voltaire:

    May God defend me from my friends; I can defend myself from my enemies.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for defend

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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"defend." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 3 Dec. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/defend>.

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    a will to succeed
    • A. apex
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