Definitionenlanguage note: Defense in meaning [sense 7] is pronounced (difens
).regional note: in BRIT, use defence
1. uncountable noun Defense is action that is taken to protect someone or something against attack. ⇒ The land was flat, giving no scope for defense. 2. uncountable noun Defense is the organization of a country's armies and weapons, and their use to protect the country or its interests. ⇒ Twenty-eight percent of the federal budget is spent on defense. ⇒ ...U.S. Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. 3. plural noun
The defenses of a country or region are all its armed forces and weapons. ⇒ He emphasized the need to maintain Britain's defenses at a level sufficient to deal with the unexpected.
4. countable noun
A defense is something that people or animals can use or do to protect themselves. ⇒ Despite anything the science of medicine may have achieved, the immune system is our main defense against disease.
5. countable noun [oft N of n, also in N] A defense is something that you say or write which supports ideas or actions that have been criticized or questioned. ⇒ Chomsky's defense of his approach goes further. 6. singular noun The defense is the case that is presented by a lawyer in a trial for the person who has been accused of a crime. You can also refer to this person's lawyers as the defense. ⇒ The defense was that the records of the interviews were fabricated by the police. 7. collective singular noun [oft poss N, also in N] In games such as soccer or hockey, the defense is the group of players in a team who try to stop the opposing players from scoring a goal or a point. ⇒ Their defense, so strong last season, has now conceded 12 goals in six games. 8.
to sb's defensephrase
If you come to someone's defense, you help them by doing or saying something to protect them. ⇒ He realized none of his schoolmates would come to his defense.
COBUILD Advanced English Dictionary. Copyright © Harper Collins Publishers