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defense - definition and synonyms


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noun defense pronunciation in American English /dɪˈfens/
Word Forms
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  1. 1
    [uncountable] actions that you take to protect someone or something that is being attacked
    come/rush to someone’s defense:

    Two of his friends came to his defense.

    1. a.
      [uncountable] the system of weapons, equipment, and people used for protecting a country

      Huge amounts of government money are spent on defense.

      an attempt to reduce the defense budget

      The president has promised to increase defense spending.

    2. b.
      [countable] [usually plural] the particular structures, weapons, and people that are used to protect a place

      The city walls were built as a defense against invaders.

  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] something that you say to support someone or something that is being criticized
    defense of:

    The President responded with a strong defense of his foreign policy.

    in defense of:

    Monroe has been fierce in defense of the present system.

    speak/say something in someone’s defense:

    Several people spoke in my defense.

    come/spring/rush to someone’s defense:

    Martin immediately sprang to her defense, saying she was innocent.

    1. a.
      [singular] all the things that are said and shown in a court case to prove that someone is not guilty

      I think we have quite a strong defense.

      mount a defense:

      He mounted a surprisingly effective defense.

    2. b.

      the defense

      the people in a court case who try to prove that someone is not guilty

      The defense will begin giving evidence tomorrow.

  3. 3
    [countable] [often plural] something that happens in your body to prevent you from becoming sick

    new drugs that work by strengthening the body’s own defenses

  4. 4
     defense pronunciation in American English /ˈdifens/ [uncountable] the players in a team game who try to prevent the other team from scoring points
  5. 5
    [singular] an attempt by someone to win a competition that they won last time so they keep their position as winner

    Simpson is in New York this week for the defense of his title.

  6. 6
    [countable] a way of thinking or behaving that protects you from being tricked or hurt
    someone’s defenses are down:

    He got me to sign the contract when my defenses were down.

See also

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in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

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