defend Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary
Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

Meaning of “defend” in the English Dictionary

"defend" in British English

See all translations

defendverb

uk   us   /dɪˈfend/

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 ​ourhomeland if we don't have an ​army? White ​bloodcellshelp defend the ​body againstinfection. 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 ​increasedunemployment. I'm going to ​karatelessons to ​learn how to defend myself.UK The Bank of ​Englandintervened this ​morning to defend the ​pound (= ​stop it from ​losingvalue).
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 ​sportscompetition that you ​won before and ​try to ​win it again: He will defend his 1,500 ​metretitle this ​weekend. The defending ​champion will ​play her first ​match of the ​tournamenttomorrow. [I] to ​try to ​prevent the ​opposingplayer or ​players from ​scoringpoints, ​goals, etc. in a ​sport: In the last ten ​minutes of the ​game, we ​needed to defend.
(Definition of defend from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"defend" in American English

See all translations

defendverb

 us   /dɪˈfend/

defend verb (PROTECT)

[T] to ​protect someone or something from ​attack or ​harm: Communities will ​fight to defend themselves. How can ​peoplebest defend themselves against ​disease? [T] To defend is also to ​argue in ​support of something, esp. when it has been ​criticized: She defended her ​husband against the accusations.

defend verb (SPORTS)

[I/T] (in ​sports) to ​try to ​prevent the ​opposition from ​scoringpoints in a ​competition, or to ​guard a ​goal or other ​position: [I] Jones is a ​difficultplayer to defend against.
(Definition of defend from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"defend" in Business English

See all translations

defendverb [T]

uk   us   /dɪˈfend/
to ​protect someone or something against attack, criticism, or ​loss: defend sth/yourself against sth The ​company has been defending itself against a ​takeoverbid. The ​unionsaccused the ​government of not doing enough to defend ​jobs. defend your decision/​actions
MONEY, ECONOMICS to take ​action to ​stop a ​currency from ​losingvalue: The Bank of England stepped in today to defend the ​pound.
LAW to be the ​lawyer speaking for a ​person or ​organization in a ​court of ​law, or speaking about a particular ​case: The ​accusedCEO was defended by one of the country's ​leadinglawyers. The ​attorneygeneral, whose ​office defended the ​case on behalf of the Department of Public Safety, said he ​anticipates an ​appeal.
Compare
LAW if you defend a ​legalcase against you, you ​arrange for it to be discussed in a ​court of ​law: If you want to defend a ​claim against you, you have 30 days to ​file a Statement of Reply with the Tribunal.
Compare
(Definition of defend from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of defend?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“defend” in Business English

Word of the Day
public school

in England, an expensive type of private school (= school paid for by parents not by the government)

Word of the Day

Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
Introducing a new author and a new weekly blog post!
by Cambridge Dictionaries Online,
August 27, 2015
The English language is constantly changing. You know that. But did you know that at Cambridge Dictionaries Online we keep track of the changes? We continually add new words and new meanings to our online dictionary for learners of English. Some of them are new to English entirely (neologisms), and some

Read More 

hyperpalatable adjective
hyperpalatable adjective
August 24, 2015
describes food with heightened levels of sugar and salt, intended to be extremely appealing In Brazil, where the prevalence of overweight and obese adults has doubled since 1980, crisps, biscuits, energy bars and sugary drinks formulated to be ‘hyper-palatable’ are much more widely eaten than previously.

Read More