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defend - definition and synonyms

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verb     defend pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
present tense
present participledefending
past tensedefended
past participledefended
  1. 1
    [transitive] to protect someone or something from attack

    Thousands of young men came forward, willing to defend their country.

    defend someone/something from/against something:

    Steps are being taken to defend the city against attack.

    defend yourself:

    You have a right to defend yourself if you are being attacked.

  2. 2
    [transitive] to say things to support someone or something that is being criticized
    strongly/strenuously/vigorously defend:

    He vigorously defended his party’s record on human rights.

    defend yourself against something:

    They must be given the opportunity to defend themselves against these allegations.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to prevent something from failing, stopping, or being taken away

    Hundreds of miners are fighting to defend their jobs.

    We will defend their right to free speech.

  4. 4
    [intransitive/transitive] legal to be the lawyer in a court case who tries to prove that someone is not guilty
  5. 5
    [transitive] to attempt to win a competition that you won last time in order to keep your position as winner

    She will be defending her Wimbledon title later this month.

    successfully defend:

    Can Baxter successfully defend his heavyweight championship?

  6. 6
    [intransitive] to play in a team sport in a position in which you are trying to prevent the other team from getting points
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