Pronunciation: (di-fend'), [key]
1. to ward off attack from; guard against assault or injury (usually fol. by from or against): The sentry defended the gate against sudden attack.
2. to maintain by argument, evidence, etc.; uphold: She defended her claim successfully.
3. to contest (a legal charge, claim, etc.).
4. serve as attorney for (a defendant): He has defended some of the most notorious criminals.
5. to support (an argument, theory, etc.) in the face of criticism; prove the validity of (a dissertation, thesis, or the like) by answering arguments and questions put by a committee of specialists.
6. to attempt to retain (a championship title, position, etc.), as in a competition against a challenger.

v.i. enter or make a defense.

Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.

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