Meaning of DEFENSE in English

I. di-ˈfen(t)s; as antonym of “offense,” often ˈdē-ˌ noun

Etymology: Middle English, from Anglo-French, from Late Latin defensa vengeance, from Latin, feminine of defensus, past participle of defendere

Date: 14th century


a. : the act or action of defending

the defense of our country

speak out in defense of justice

b. : a defendant's denial, answer, or plea


a. : capability of resisting attack

b. : defensive play or ability

a player known for good defense


a. : means or method of defending or protecting oneself, one's team, or another ; also : a defensive structure

b. : an argument in support or justification

c. : the collected facts and method adopted by a defendant to protect and defend against a plaintiff's action

d. : a sequence of moves available in chess to the second player in the opening


a. : a defending party or group (as in a court of law)

the defense rests

b. : a defensive team

5. : the military and industrial aggregate that authorizes and supervises arms production

appropriations for defense

defense contract

• de·fense·less -ləs adjective

• de·fense·less·ly adverb

• de·fense·less·ness noun

II. transitive verb

( de·fensed ; de·fens·ing )

Date: 1950

: to take specific defensive action against (an opposing team or player or an offensive play)

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.