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See also: defënd and défend



Middle English defenden, from Old French deffendre (Modern: défendre), from Latin dēfendō (to ward off).



defend (third-person singular simple present defends, present participle defending, simple past and past participle defended)

  1. (transitive, obsolete) To ward off, repel (an attack or attacker).
    • 1590, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, II.viii:
      The vertue is, that neither steele, nor stone / The stroke thereof from entrance may defend [].
  2. (transitive, obsolete) To prevent, to keep (from doing something).
  3. (transitive, intransitive, obsolete) To prohibit, forbid.
    • 1485, Sir Thomas Malory, Le Morte d'Arthur, Vol.I, Book VII:
      "Brother," seyde Sir Launcelot, "wyte you well I am full loth to departe oute of thys reallme, but the quene hath defended me so hyghly that mesemyth she woll never be my good lady as she hath bene."
  4. (transitive) To ward off attacks from; to fight to protect; to guard.
  5. (transitive) To support by words or writing; to vindicate, talk in favour of.
  6. (transitive, law) To make legal defence of; to represent (the accused).
  7. (sports) To focus one's energies and talents on preventing opponents from scoring, as opposed to focusing on scoring.
  8. (sports) To attempt to retain a title, or attempt to reach the same stage in a competition as one did in the previous edition of that competition.
  9. (poker slang) To call a raise from the big blind.



Related terms[edit]