• (British) IPA: /dɪˈfɛnd/
  • (America) IPA: /dɛˈfɛnd/, /diˈfɛnd/, /dəˈfɛnd/

defend (defends, present participle defending; past and past participle defended)

  1. (transitive) To ward off attacks against; to fight to protect; to guard.
  2. (transitive) To support by words or writing; to vindicate, talk in favour of.
  3. (transitive, legal) To make legal defence of; to represent (the accused).
  4. (sports) To focus one's energies and talents on preventing opponents from scoring, as opposed to focusing on scoring.
  5. (sports) To attempt to retain a title, or attempt to reach the same stage in a competition as one did in the previous edition of that competition.
  6. (poker slang) To call a raise from the big blind.
  7. (transitive, obsolete) To ward off, repel (an attack or attacker).
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.viii:
      The vertue is, that neither steele, nor stone / The stroke thereof from entrance may defend […].
  8. (transitive, obsolete) To prevent, to keep (from doing something).
  9. (transitive, intransitive, obsolete) To prohibit, forbid.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, [;view=fulltext chapter ij], in Le Morte Darthur, book XVIII:
      Broder said sir launcelot wete ye wel I am ful lothe to departe oute of this realme / but the quene hath defended me soo hyhely / that me semeth she wille neuer be my good lady as she hath ben
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