Meaning of “defend” in the English Dictionary

"defend" in British English

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defendverb

uk /dɪˈfend/ 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 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).
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More examples

  • All the police officers were equipped with shields to defend themselves against the rioters.
  • The general rallied his forces to defend the town.
  • A female lion defends her young ferociously.
  • Instead of defending traditional values, the church frequently seems weak-kneed and irresolute.
  • In the past, the party would have closed ranks around its leader and defended him loyally.

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 Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"defend" in American English

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defendverb

us /dɪˈfend/

defend verb (PROTECT)

[ T ] to protect someone or something from attack or harm:

Communities will fight to defend themselves.
How can people best 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 scoring points in a competition, or to guard a goal or other position:

[ I ] Jones is a difficult player to defend against.

(Definition of “defend” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"defend" in Business English

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defendverb [ T ]

uk /dɪˈfend/ us

to protect someone or something against attack, criticism, or loss:

defend sth/yourself against sth The company has been defending itself against a takeover bid.
The unions accused the government of not doing enough to defend jobs.
defend your decision/actions

MONEY, ECONOMICS to take action to stop a currency from losing value:

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 accused CEO was defended by one of the country's leading lawyers.
The attorney general, whose office defended the case on behalf of the Department of Public Safety, said he anticipates an appeal.
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LAW if you defend a legal case 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.
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(Definition of “defend” from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)