WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
de•fence  (di fens),USA pronunciation n., v.t.,  -fenced, -fenc•ing. [Chiefly Brit.]
  1. British Termsdefense.
de•fencea•ble, adj. 
de•fenceless, adj. 
de•fenceless•ly, adv. 
de•fenceless•ness, n. 

WordReference Random House Learner's Dictionary of American English © 2019
de•fense /dɪˈfɛns or, esp. for 7., ˈdifɛns/USA pronunciation   n., v.,  -fensed, -fens•ing. 
  1. a means of defending:[uncountable]a weapon of defense.
  2. something that defends or protects:[countable]We'll have to strengthen our border defenses.
  3. the arms production of a nation:[uncountable]spending billions on defense.
  4. the defending of a cause by argument:[uncountable]to speak in defense of anti-pollution laws.
  5. an argument defending some cause:[countable]The speech was a brilliant defense of the notion of civil rights for all.
  6. Law[ count;
    usually singular;
    often: the + ~]
    • the strategy adopted by a defendant for defending against the plaintiff 's charge:We'll base our defense on the testimony of the two witnesses.
  7. Psychologydefense mechanism.
  8. Sport[countable]
    • the tactics or strategy of defending against attack.
    • the players or team attempting to resist the attack of a team having the ball, puck, etc.

v. [+ object]
  1. to defend against (an opponent, play, etc.).
de•fense•less, adj. See -fend-.

WordReference Random House Unabridged Dictionary of American English © 2019
de•fense  (di fens or, esp. for 7, 9,fens),USA pronunciation n., v.,  -fensed, -fens•ing. 
  1. resistance against attack;
    protection:Two more regiments are needed for the defense of the city.
  2. something that defends, as a fortification, physical or mental quality, or medication:This fort was once the main defense of the island.
  3. the defending of a cause or the like by speech, argument, etc.:He spoke in defense of the nation's foreign policy.
  4. a speech, argument, etc., in vindication:She delivered a defense of free enterprise.
  5. Law
    • the denial or pleading of the defendant in answer to the claim or charge that has been made.
    • the proceedings adopted by a defendant, or the defendant's legal agents, for defending against the charges that have been made.
    • a defendant and his or her counsel.
  6. PsychologySee  defense mechanism (def. 2).
  7. Sport
    • the practice or art of defending oneself or one's goal against attack, as in fencing, boxing, soccer, or football.
    • the team attempting to thwart the attack of the team having the ball or puck.
    • the players of a team who line up in their own defensive zone.
    • the positions on the field, ice, etc., taken by such players.
  8. Government(cap.) Also called  Defense Depart′ment. [Informal.]the Department of Defense.

  1. Sportto defend against (an opponent, play, or tactic).
Also,[esp. Brit.,] defence.  de•fenseless, adj. 
de•fenseless•ly, adv. 
de•fenseless•ness, n. 
  • Medieval Latin defēnsum (thing) forbidden, neuter past participle of Latin dēfendere
  • Anglo-French, Old French
  • Late Latin dēfēnsa a forbidding, noun, nominal use of feminine of past participle of Latin dēfendere to defend; replacing Middle English defens
  • Old French
  • Middle English 1250–1300
    • 1.See corresponding entry in Unabridged security, preservation, safeguard.
    • 3.See corresponding entry in Unabridged support, advocacy, justification.

Collins Concise English Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers::

defence, US defense /dɪˈfɛns/ n
  1. resistance against danger, attack, or harm; protection
  2. a person or thing that provides such resistance
  3. a plea, essay, speech, etc, in support of something; vindication; justification
  4. a country's military measures or resources
  5. a defendant's denial of the truth of the allegations or charge against him
  6. the defendant and his legal advisers collectively
  7. the action of protecting oneself, one's goal, or one's allotted part of the playing area against an opponent's attacks
  8. the defencethe players in a team whose function is to do this
  9. (usually preceded by the) the team that does not have possession of the ball
  10. the members of a team that play in such circumstances
  11. (plural) fortifications
Etymology: 13th Century: from Old French, from Late Latin dēfensum, past participle of dēfendere to defend

deˈfenceless, US deˈfenseless adj

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