Meaning of “defence” in the English Dictionary

"defence" in British English

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defencenoun

UK US defense uk /dɪˈfens/ us /dɪˈfens/

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

More examples

  • Whenever anyone criticizes her husband, she immediately jumps to his defence.
  • The team has a strong attack, but its defence is weak.
  • They put up a sturdy defence of their proposal.
  • Huge sums of money are spent on national defence.
  • They have been strengthening their border defences in preparation for war.

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

(Definition of “defence” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"defence" in Business English

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defencenoun

UK US defense uk /dɪˈfens/ us

[ S or U ] LAW an argument or explanation which you use to prove that you are not guilty of something:

Now he says he's done nothing wrong, and I assume that will be his defence in court.
a defense attorney/lawyer
the defence [ S ]

LAW the person or people in a law case who have been accused of doing something illegal, and the lawyer or lawyers who are representing them:

He claims that official documents of vital importance to the defence were not available.
Compare

[ C ] a method used by a company to avoid having another company take control of it:

The chief executive led a vigorous takeover defence.
One possible defence strategy is to mount a higher counter-bid for the parent company.

(Definition of “defence” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)