a person or institution against whom an action is brought in a court of law; the person being sued or accused
In civil proceedings, the party responding to the complaint; one who is sued and called upon to make satisfaction for a wrong complained of by another.
In criminal proceedings, the accused.
serving, or suitable, for defense; defensive
one who defends; a defender
a person required to make answer in an action or suit; -- opposed to plaintiff
Origin: [F. dfendant, p. pr. of dfendre. See Defend.]
In a criminal trial, a defendant is any person accused of committing an offence, an act defined as punishable under criminal law. The other party to a criminal trial is usually a public prosecutor. In a lawsuit, a defendant is also the accused party, although not of an offence, but of a civil wrong. The person who started the civil action through filing a complaint is referred to as the plaintiff. Defendants in civil actions usually make their first court appearance voluntarily in response to a summons. But criminal defendants are often taken into custody by police and brought before a court under an arrest warrant. Historically, civil defendants could be taken into custody under a writ of capias ad respondendum and be forced to post bail before being released. But modern-day civil defendants are usually able to avoid most court appearances if represented by a lawyer. Criminal defendants are usually obliged to post bail before being released from custody and must be present at every stage of the proceedings against them.
British National Corpus
Spoken Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'defendant' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #3010
Written Corpus Frequency
Rank popularity for the word 'defendant' in Written Corpus Frequency: #4703
Rank popularity for the word 'defendant' in Nouns Frequency: #935
The numerical value of defendant in Chaldean Numerology is: 5
The numerical value of defendant in Pythagorean Numerology is: 1
Sample Sentences & Example Usage
This defendant did not get a fair shake.
The defendant needed a baby and Michelle Wilkins had one.
The defendant spent years helping craft al-Qaida's message to the world.
There is no good reason for the defendant to fail to seat-belt Mr. Gray.
The defendant may be mentally ill, but he is more evil than anything else.
Images & Illustrations of defendant
Translations for defendant
From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary
- مدعى عليهArabic
- обвиняем, ответникBulgarian
- žalovaný, obžalovaný, obviněnýCzech
- Angeklagter, AngeklagteGerman
- κατηγορούμενος, εναγόμενοςGreek
- défendeur, inculpéFrench
- պատասխանող, ամբաստանյալArmenian
- imputato, accusatoItalian
- обвиняемый, ответчик, подсудимыйRussian
- branjenik, branjenicaSerbo-Croatian
- obtoženi, obtoženaSlovene
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