Meaning of DEFENSE in English

I. de ‧ fence S2 W1 BrE AmE British English , defense American English /dɪˈfens/ noun

[ Word Family: noun : DEFENCE/DEFENSE , ↑ defendant , ↑ defender , ↑ defensiveness ; adjective : DEFENCELESS/DEFENSELESS , ↑ defensible ≠ ↑ indefensible , ↑ defensive ; adverb : ↑ defensibly ≠ ↑ indefensibly , ↑ defensively ; verb : ↑ defend ]


a) [uncountable] the act of protecting something or someone from attack

defence of

In Britain, the defence of the country has historically been left to the navy.

a firm commitment to the defense of human rights

The first line of defence is a smoke detector.

b) [countable] something that can be used to protect something or someone from attack:

The area’s flood defences need repair.

defence against

The immune system is the body’s defence against infection.

⇨ ↑ self-defence


a) [uncountable] all the systems, people, materials etc that a country uses to protect itself from attack:

calls for a national debate on defence

the Defense Department

b) defences British English , defenses American English [plural] all the armies, weapons, structures etc that are available to defend a place:

The invading army easily overcame the town’s defences.

3 . AGAINST CRITICISM [uncountable and countable] something that you say or do in order to support someone or something that is being criticized

in sb’s/sth’s defence

Jean wrote a letter to the paper in Angela’s defense.

defence of

a philosophical defence of nationalism

come/leap to sb’s defence

Evelyn Waugh came to Wilson’s defence and acknowledged the brilliance of the book’s themes.


a) [countable] the things that are said in a court of law to prove that someone is not guilty of a crime:

Major has a good defence and believes he will win the case.

a defence lawyer

b) the defence all the lawyers who try to prove in a court of law that someone is not guilty of a crime:

The defense called only one witness.

⇨ ↑ prosecution (2)

5 . EMOTIONS [countable] something you do or a way of behaving that prevents you from seeming weak or being hurt by others:

Liz dropped her defences and began to relax.

6 . SPORT [countable] British English the players in a game whose main job is to try to prevent the other team from getting points OPP offense

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COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)

■ defence + NOUN

▪ a defence force (=group of soldiers, pilots etc trained to defend a country)

The country's defence forces are on standby in case of an attack.

▪ a defence system (=a system of people, organizations etc to defend a country)

Is the national defence system adequate?

▪ a defence policy

Ministers in Brussels have been discussing a possible European defence policy.

▪ defence spending/expenditure

There were plans to cut defence spending by one billion pounds.

▪ the defence budget (=amount of money a government makes available for defence)

They have called for the defence budget to be increased.

▪ the Defence Department (=part of the government dealing with defence)

This is secret information, known only to the Defence Department.

▪ the Defence Secretary (=person in a government in charge of defence)

The Defence Secretary is under pressure to resign.

II. de ‧ fense 1 /dɪˈfens/ BrE AmE noun [countable, uncountable]

the American spelling of ↑ defence

III. de ‧ fense 2 /dɪˈfens $ ˈdiːfens/ BrE AmE noun [uncountable and countable] American English

the players in a game of football etc whose main job is to try to prevent the other team from getting points

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.