De·fend v. t. [imp. & p. p. Defended; p. pr. & vb. n. Defending.]
1. To ward or fend off; to drive back or away; to repel. [A Latinism & Obs.]
Th' other strove for to defend
The force of Vulcan with his might and main. --Spenser.
2. To prohibit; to forbid. [Obs.]
Which God defend that I should wring from him. --Shak.
3. To repel danger or harm from; to protect; to secure against attack; to maintain against force or argument; to uphold; to guard; as, to defend a town; to defend a cause; to defend character; to defend the absent; -- sometimes followed by from or against; as, to defend one's self from, or against, one's enemies.
The lord mayor craves aid . . . to defend the city. --Shak.
God defend the right! --Shak.
A village near it was defended by the river. --Clarendon.
4. Law. To deny the right of the plaintiff in regard to (the suit, or the wrong charged); to oppose or resist, as a claim at law; to contest, as a suit.
Syn: -- To Defend, Protect.
Usage: To defend is literally to ward off; to protect is to cover so as to secure against approaching danger. We defend those who are attacked; we protect those who are liable to injury or invasion. A fortress is defended by its guns, and protected by its wall.
As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver it. --Is. xxxi. 5.
Leave not the faithful side
That gave thee being, still shades thee and protects. --Milton.
v 1: argue or speak in defense of; "She supported the motion to
strike" [syn: support, fend for]
2: be on the defensive; act against an attack [ant: attack]
3: protect against a challenge or attack; "Hold that position
behind the trees!"; "Hold the bridge against the enemy's
attacks" [syn: guard, hold]
4: fight against or resist strongly; "The senator said he would
oppose the bill"; "Don't fight it!" [syn: fight, oppose,
fight back, fight down]
5: protect or fight for as a champion [syn: champion]
6: be the defense counsel for someone in a trial; "Ms. Smith
will represent the defendant" [syn: represent] [ant: prosecute]
7: state or assert; "He maintained his innocence" [syn: maintain]