Definition of defense in English:

defense

(British defence)

Pronunciation /dəˈfens/ /dəˈfɛns/ /ˈdēˌfens/ /ˈdiˌfɛns/

noun

  • 1The action of defending from or resisting attack.

    ‘she came to the defense of the eccentric professor’
    ‘he spoke in defense of a disciplined approach’
    ‘they relied on missiles for the country's defense’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘This poses an important test for those of us who want to make a consistent stand in defence of liberties during the second term.’
    • ‘Surely that is enough reason for our elected representatives to act in defence of our safety?’
    • ‘At present, the law allows homeowners to use only ‘reasonable force’ in defence of themselves and their homes.’
    • ‘There's a danger that this stand in defence of reason could be subsumed by some of the other unreasonable trends of our time.’
    • ‘As in sport, T.J. was always ready to stand his ground in defence of his sincerely held beliefs.’
    • ‘At our meeting, Mr. Hansen presented a number of rationales in defence of the proposed increase in holding capacity.’
    • ‘It is a battle in defence of reason and objectivity, the very basis of all scientific enquiry.’
    • ‘As in America, the citizens' militia was an integral part of a patriot ideology that extolled the right of a free people to bear arms in defence of liberty.’
    • ‘All they were doing was acting in their own defence and in defence of each other.’
    • ‘The defendant was taking the moral high ground by volunteering for imprisonment in defence of his position.’
    • ‘It is important that people support this case financially so that a precedent in defence of our rights can be established.’
    • ‘She was adamant that her brother had fallen in defence of our two countries, the land of his birth and England, the land of his ancestors.’
    • ‘But we need to go much further in defence of freedom.’
    • ‘The first tablet was unveiled in the Parish Church some months ago and is a memorial to the brave fellows who lost their lives in defence of their country's interests.’
    • ‘Unlike the police, they act only in defence of private places.’
    • ‘The county court upheld her suspension, and at the end of November the state's supreme court refused to hear the case she had lodged in defence of free speech.’
    • ‘One player is not going to score all the goals, be the toughest player, play defense and stop the puck.’
    protection, shielding, safeguarding, guarding
    1. 1.1An instance of defending a title or seat in a contest or election.
      ‘his first title defense against Jones’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Hopkins has earned his status as one of the all-time middleweight greats by remaining unbeaten through world title defences spanning over a decade.’
      • ‘Nevertheless, eight consecutive title defences over the following two years put paid to any suggestion that Ali was not a worthy champion.’
      • ‘Better still, Glasgow should now recognise the man who has now stretched his Scottish record of world title defences to seven.’
      • ‘Two title defences on home soil preceded the launch of McGuigan in Las Vegas, outdoors at Caesars Palace.’
      • ‘He will also equal Jim Watt's record of four successful title defences.’
      • ‘Artur, you are one of boxing's longest reigning champions with 17 title defenses.’
      • ‘The home-crowd advantage should lead the Canadian women to a successful defence of the title.’
      • ‘Goosen warmed up for next week's US Masters with an admirable defence of the title.’
      • ‘His major targets for 2004 are the state and national titles and a defence of the zone titles.’
      • ‘His seven-year reign and 19 successful title defences constitute a record for the 115-pound division.’
      • ‘Five of his title defences have come against last weeks opponent or against Joichiro Tatsuyoshi from whom he won the title.’
      • ‘On top of that he made 20 consecutive title defenses during his seven year reign as heavyweight champion, only Joe Louis made more with 25.’
      • ‘Shabaani will be making a first defence of the title he won by a stoppage of Ferid Jeddau in Italy this year to improve his unbeaten fight record to 15 fights.’
      • ‘But they are not harbouring thoughts that they will have an easy defence of the title.’
      • ‘Gulliver has set herself high standards and will be sure to make a resolute defence of her title and the Grand Slam.’
      • ‘Between the two they've made 42 title defenses.’
      • ‘Only one of his 7 title defenses have gone the distance.’
    2. 1.2Military measures or resources for protecting a country.
      ‘the minister of defense’
      as modifier ‘defense policy’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the nuclear world deterrence became not merely an element of defence and military strategy, but its defining feature.’
      • ‘Yet what opportunities were lost to a free France and Britain and the Low Countries before 1940 to re-arm and negotiate military defense strategies?’
      • ‘He encouraged members to increase interaction with civilians to gain their support for the nation's defense policy and military build-up plans.’
      • ‘The appropriate metaphor is no longer that of traditional military defense or even police protection.’
      • ‘Although Russia's defence minister had recommended military action, most of the generals were against it.’
      • ‘Does active military involvement in defense policymaking actually threaten civilian control?’
      • ‘Even now each state, moreover, seeks to get ahead of other states as it deals with its military and defense problems.’
      • ‘Most American defense planners naturally consider military predominance to be a major strength.’
      • ‘We owe no less to the well-being of our nation's defense system and the military profession.’
      • ‘In the case of air defense or offensive military equipment, waiting until friendly forces are engaged is too late to confirm disablement.’
      • ‘But military defense that protected only one state, or a small group of states, still is a public good.’
      • ‘The general is also the prime minister and defense minister in the military government.’
      • ‘It also covers the more general matters of defence policy and strategy and military planning and intelligence.’
      • ‘An upsurge of regular exchange visits between the top defense and military leaderships of the two countries followed.’
      • ‘Technology will continue to be pervasive in national defense and warfare.’
      • ‘But this does not apply for military or defence operations or where the Council unanimously decides otherwise.’
      • ‘Military and defence issues are peripheral to the Nice Treaty, it has argued.’
      armaments, weapons, weaponry, arms, military measures, military resources
    3. 1.3A means of protecting something from attack.
      ‘education is the best defense against tyranny’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The fort was built in 1793 under John Simcoe and was Toronto's main defence against an army of mindless marauders in 1812.’
      • ‘The telephone survey of some 1,000 companies found that firewalls were the main line of defence against hackers for most companies.’
      • ‘In woody plants, carbon-based chemical compounds such as phenolics and terpenes comprise the main chemical defence.’
      • ‘However, the main Japanese defense on Mount Tapotchau remained.’
      • ‘In between dodging the baddies, Lafcadia helps an old blind woman cross a river and meets up with a young thief, whose main line of defense is a pot of chili pepper - the original pepper spray.’
      • ‘But as the disease spread out of control, authorities switched to vaccinations as the main form of defense, he added.’
      • ‘With its blue back and silver flanks the garfish is well camouflaged, but its main anti-predator defence is its turn of speed.’
      • ‘Goannas use a sideswipe with their heavy tail as their main weapon of defence and have been known to break the leg of a pursuing dog.’
      • ‘Your main defense against them is billions of acidophilus bacteria, your ‘good’ intestinal flora.’
      • ‘Acquired immunity is the main physiological mechanism of defense available to vertebrates against parasites.’
      • ‘It coincides roughly with a series of military bases that form the main federal line of defense for South Texas.’
      • ‘Warrick said the Turks used the pine logs to cover their trenches in defence against the attacking Australians.’
    4. 1.4defensesFortifications or barriers against attack.
      ‘coastal defenses’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The goal was to destroy the enemy's will to fight by demonstrating our superiority and ability to attack into their strongpoint defenses in and around the city at will.’
      • ‘You did not just sit behind your defences and let the attack overwhelm you: you fired back.’
      • ‘These defences the Allied armies felt compelled to attack.’
      • ‘He pronounced military defences ready for a potential missile attack, but said the risks of such a strike were slim.’
      barricade, fortification, bulwark, buttress, fortress, fastness, keep, rampart, outpost, bastion
  • 2The case presented by or on behalf of the party being accused or sued in a lawsuit.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘If successful such a defence leaves the third party liable to conviction on the basis of strict liability.’
    • ‘It is a defence for an accused person to prove that his conduct was reasonable in the circumstances of the case.’
    • ‘Duress has been recognised as a general defence to all crimes except treason and murder.’
    • ‘Given the way the accused conducted his defence, and the evidence, we do not think that any miscarriage of justice has occurred in this particular case.’
    • ‘The defendant shall then be invited to respond by presenting his defence and may also call witnesses in support.’
    • ‘Automatism is often regarded as a defence to crime rather than as an essential component of criminal conduct.’
    • ‘The only defence remaining alive at present is, therefore, I suggest, the disputed decision about qualifying privilege.’
    • ‘It may be said that there is an evidentiary onus on an accused person in raising a defence of alibi.’
    • ‘Others suggested that he was at fault for trying to present an alibi defense.’
    • ‘Their second defence is that they were trying to prevent a crime, a defence allowed under the Criminal Law Act 1967.’
    • ‘But the Crown may just decide to go ahead and prosecute for murder, which itself allows the accused a defence of insanity that can lead to acquittal.’
    • ‘Truth is a defence for libel; civil suits are decided on the balance of probability, not beyond reasonable doubt.’
    • ‘The defendant has entered a substantive defence pleading justification and qualified privilege.’
    • ‘This is a common law claim for damages which is subject to a defence of mitigation.’
    • ‘So in one sense there would be very few defamation cases where a defence of qualified privilege could be raised.’
    • ‘In defamation the falsity of the libel or slander is presumed; but justification is a complete defence.’
    • ‘It is clear from the cases that the breach by the plaintiff is a complete defence to a claim that the defendant failed to perform its promise.’
    rebuttal, denial
    1. 2.1usually the defensetreated as singular or plural One or more defendants and the counsel in a trial.
      ‘the defense requested more time to prepare their case’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But counsel for the defence did say that he did want a special verdict even though there were some perhaps equivocal remarks in relation to it.’
      • ‘He was then cross-examined by counsel for the defence.’
      • ‘They were going to be told that in no uncertain way, in effect, by both counsel, the defence needing to respond to the way in which the Crown would properly put the case.’
      • ‘I can foresee Counsel for the defence making this point and nullifying my evidence.’
      • ‘Although it heard the applicant on various issues, it did not rehear the witnesses, and the defence made no request that it should.’
      • ‘Advocate Amin Solkar and Advocate Saeed Azami are the defence counsels in the case.’
      • ‘The fact is that it is not for the defence to have to request the prosecution to serve its evidence.’
      • ‘At the request of the defence, she asked the police to obtain a forensic test of some evidence.’
      • ‘At the request of the defence it was searched at the beginning of the trial.’
      • ‘In that fax, the Crown transmitted the defence request for disclosure of the audiotape and the booking videotape.’
      • ‘He would then step down as counsel and become the hostile witness for the defence.’
      • ‘George had been due back in court yesterday, but the defence and prosecution requested an adjournment until February 1st.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, at this week's court session the judge allowed the defence to provide a new experts report from specialists chosen by the Bulgarians.’
      • ‘At the request of the defence, jurors considered a murder charge only.’
      • ‘He pleaded not guilty, and reporting restrictions were lifted at the defence's request.’
      • ‘Requests by the defence to allow the three men to leave the country on security grounds pending this appeal have been denied.’
      • ‘A second post-mortem has been carried out at the request of the defence and her body has now been released.’
  • 3(in sports) the action or role of defending one's goal against the opposition.

    ‘we played solid defense’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In defence Ilkley were largely solid and Ashton, Mark Houlston David Taylor and Beaumont all had good games.’
    • ‘In defence Kirkby looked solid thanks to their experienced and physical back four.’
    • ‘He is the most consistent player on defense, and the team can't afford to lose him.’
    • ‘Cochin Port Trust did not click as a team and ICF played a fast and neat game, but it needs taller players to survive in defence.’
    • ‘A lot of players won't play defense [if they're not scoring].’
    • ‘Weak play on defense and special teams have made it difficult to be patient with the running game.’
    • ‘The White Sox usually rank near the bottom of the league in team defense but have reversed that trend.’
    1. 3.1the defenseThe players in a team who defend the goal.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Could they make the playoffs with this defense or is the team still a year or two away?’
      • ‘The player is capable of mesmerizing any team's defence on his good day.’
      • ‘Classic threatened but could not break down a stubborn Leopards defence denying the home team a sniff at goal.’
      • ‘It purely comes down to the players - defending is not just about the defence, it requires the whole team to make an effort.’
      • ‘He always blames the defence when the team is not doing well.’
      • ‘After their early progress, Charlton were finding it difficult to get out of their own half and relieve some pressure on the defence.’
      • ‘All of a sudden you are attacking with four and it may leave you exposed in midfield and that may be why we are putting more pressure on the defence.’
      • ‘Ben Greenhow got in behind the defence for the home team's best chance before the break, but powered his shot wide.’
      • ‘This inevitably put the defence under pressure and this eventually led to York's second goal.’
      • ‘The ball went to Bell who weaved his way through the defence to give his team a converted try.’
      • ‘And they can count on their defense and special teams to score only so many touchdowns.’
      • ‘There was however much to admire in the performance of the team as a whole with the defence apart from the goals turning in a committed wholehearted performance.’
      • ‘Yass attacked time and again and the defence of the team was tested, however, they stood firm and held the line.’
      • ‘The Texans pinned their hopes on the defense and special teams, both of which came through in a big way.’
      • ‘It wins with a dominating defense and flawless special teams, timing and chutzpah.’
      • ‘At the back, Robert Raeside is a key player in a defence that has only conceded nine goals.’
      • ‘The team will depend on several aging players to improve a defense that slipped last season.’

Phrases

    defense in depth
    • The arrangement of defensive lines or fortifications so that they can defend each other.

Origin

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

Pronunciation

defense

/dəˈfens/ /dəˈfɛns/ /ˈdēˌfens/ /ˈdiˌfɛns/