Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “defence”

defence

noun uk UK (US defense)   /dɪˈfens/ us  

defence noun (PROTECTION)

A2 [C or U] protection or support against attack, criticism, or infection: The rebels' only form of defence against the soldiers' guns was sticks and stones. The war has ended but government spending on defence (= the country's armed forces) is still increasing. When Helen criticized me, Chris came/rushed to my defence (= quickly supported me). The book is a closely argued defence of (= something that supports) the economic theory of Keynes. The towers were once an important part of the city's defences. A good diet helps build the body's natural defences.
See also

defence noun (EXPLANATION)

[S or U] an argument or explanation that you use to prove that you are not guilty of something: The judge remarked that ignorance was not a valid defence. All I can say, in defence of my actions, is that I had little choice. the things said in court to prove that a person did not commit a crime: She said that she didn't want a lawyer and was going to conduct her own defence. the defence C2 the person or people in a law case who have been accused of doing something illegal, and their lawyer(s): a witness for the defence a defence lawyer

defence noun (SPORT)

B1 [S or U] in some sports, the part of a team that tries to prevent the other team from scoring goals or points: a strong defence I play in (US on) defence.

defence noun (CHESS)

specialized games [C or U] in the game of chess, a particular set of moves used by the person playing with the black pieces: What defence did you use in that last game?
(Definition of defence from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of defence?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Backing, supporting & defending, but you might be interested in these topics from the Expressing agreement & support topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “defence” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

dawn on sb

If a fact dawns on you, you understand it after a period of not understanding it.

Word of the Day

The language of work

by Kate Woodford,
October 15, 2014
Most of us talk about our jobs. We tell our family and friends interesting or funny things that have happened in the workplace (=room where we do our job), we describe – and sometimes complain about – our bosses and colleagues and when we meet someone for the first time, we tell

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More