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verb defend pronunciation in British English /dɪˈfend/ 
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 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.

  3. 3
    [transitive] to say things to support someone or something that is being criticized

    Mr Rose defended the committee's decision to publish the report early.

    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.

  4. 4
    [intransitive] to play in a team sport in a position in which you are trying to prevent the other team from getting points

    The opposition defended brilliantly in the second half.

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of defend
  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?

    Synonyms and related words for this sense of defend
  6. 6
    [intransitive/transitive] legal to be the lawyer in a court case who tries to prove that someone is not guilty
    Synonyms and related words for this sense of defend


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