Pronunciation: (di-fens' or, esp. for 7, 9, dē'fens), [key]
—n., v., -fensed, -fens•ing.
1. resistance against attack; protection: Two more regiments are needed for the defense of the city.
2. something that defends, as a fortification, physical or mental quality, or medication: This fort was once the main defense of the island.
3. the defending of a cause or the like by speech, argument, etc.: He spoke in defense of the nation's foreign policy.
4. a speech, argument, etc., in vindication: She delivered a defense of free enterprise.
a. the denial or pleading of the defendant in answer to the claim or charge that has been made.
b. the proceedings adopted by a defendant, or the defendant's legal agents, for defending against the charges that have been made.
c. a defendant and his or her counsel.
6. Psychol.See defense mechanism (def. 2).
a. the practice or art of defending oneself or one's goal against attack, as in fencing, boxing, soccer, or football.
b. the team attempting to thwart the attack of the team having the ball or puck.
c. the players of a team who line up in their own defensive zone.
d. the positions on the field, ice, etc., taken by such players.
8. (cap.) Also called Defense' Depart"ment. Informal.the Department of Defense.
Sports.to defend against (an opponent, play, or tactic). Also, esp. Brit.,defence.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.