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: the act of defending someone or something from attack
weapons of defense = weapons used for defense
They fought in defense of their country. [=they fought to defend their country]
the body’s first line of defense [=way of defending itself] against illness
They put up a good defense, but the city ultimately fell to the invaders.
They mounted a good defense.
— see also self-defense
[count] : something that is used to protect yourself, your country, etc.
The best defense is a good offense. [=the best way to defend something is to try to beat the opposite side]
The city’s defenses were not strong enough to keep out the invaders.
We need to improve our defenses.
the nation’s air and ground defenses
— often + against
We have no defense against such powerful weapons. [=we have no way to defend ourselves against such powerful weapons]
the body’s natural defenses against disease and infection
: the act of speaking or writing in support of someone or something that is being attacked or criticized
His friends quickly came/jumped to his defense. [=his friends began saying that he was right or good]
— often used in the phrase in defense
She spoke out in defense of justice. [=she defended justice]
Let me say, in her defense, that I would have done the same thing that she did.
He spoke up in his own defense. [=he defended himself]
— usually singular
She offered no defense [=justification] for her actions.
We listened to a passionate/spirited defense of the governor’s decision.
[noncount] : the things that are done by a country to protect itself from enemies
In my view, the most important issue facing our country today is national defense.
The candidates accused each other of being soft/weak on defense.
The President wants to increase spending on defense.
He was the Secretary of Defense under the last President.
— often used before another noun
He proposed an increase in defense spending.
the defense secretary/minister/department
They signed a billion-dollar defense contract with the company.
cuts in the defense budget
a [singular] : the side of a legal case which argues that a person who is being sued or accused of a crime is innocent : the lawyer or lawyers who represent the defendant in a court case
His friends are raising money (to pay) for his defense.
The defense rests, Your Honor.
The defense told the jury that the prosecution had not proved its case.
— often used before another noun
defense attorneys/lawyers
a defense witness [=a person who speaks to support the defense’s case]
He had three lawyers on his defense team.
— compare prosecution
b [count] : the method that is used in a court case to prove that someone is innocent
Her lawyers plan to use an insanity defense. [=they will say that she was not sane when she committed the crime]
It’s a valid defense, and I think we should be able to win the case.
a : the group of players on a team who try to stop an opponent from scoring
He ran through the defense and scored a touchdown.
Our team has the best defense in the league.
a talented defense
She began the season on defense [=playing on the part of the team that defends the goal], but her coach later put her on offense.
b [noncount] : the way that players on a team try to stop an opponent from scoring
The team needs some work on its defense.
These guys play good/strong/tough defense.

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