Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “defend”

See all translations

defend

verb uk   /dɪˈfend/ us  

defend verb (PROTECT)

B1 [T] to protect someone or something against attack or criticism; to speak in favour of someone or something: How can we defend our homeland if we don't have an army? White blood cells help defend the body against infection. They are fighting to defend their beliefs/interests/rights. He vigorously defended his point of view. The president was asked how he could defend (= explain his support for) a policy that increased unemployment. I'm going to karate lessons to learn how to defend myself. UK The Bank of England intervened this morning to defend the pound (= stop it from losing value).
Compare
More examples

defend verb (IN COURT OF LAW)

to act as a lawyer for someone who has been accused of something in a court of law and try to prove that they are not guilty : I can't afford a lawyer, so I shall defend myself (= argue my own case in a court of law).

defend verb (IN SPORT)

[T] to compete in a sports competition that you won before and try to win it again: He will defend his 1,500 metre title this weekend. The defending champion will play her first match of the tournament tomorrow. [I] to try to prevent the opposing player or players from scoring points, goals, etc. in a sport: In the last ten minutes of the game, we needed to defend.
(Definition of defend from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of defend?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “defend” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

pup

a baby of particular animals, or a puppy

Word of the Day

I won’t tolerate it! Replacing formal words with phrasal verbs.

by Liz Walter,
April 01, 2015
When you are using a language, it is important to understand if a word is formal or informal, so that you can use it in an appropriate way. You might hear people saying dosh for money, or spud for potato, but they wouldn’t write those words in a formal essay. Similarly, a

Read More 

stackin’ p

March 30, 2015
idiom slang earning a lot of money ‘That’s a very generous present.”Yeah, well, she’s stackin’ p, innit?’

Read More