Open main menu

Wiktionary β

Contents

EnglishEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From French défense, from Latin defensa (protection).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

defence (plural defences) (British spelling)

  1. The action of defending, of protecting from attack, danger or injury.
    • Shakespeare
      In cases of defence 'tis best to weigh / The enemy more mighty than he seems.
  2. Something used to oppose attack(s).
    • 1592—1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet XII:
      And nothing 'gainst Time's scythe can make defence
      Save breed, to brave him when he takes thee hence.
  3. An argument in support or justification of something.
    • 2016 June 11, Phil McNulty, “England 1-1 Russia”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      In Hodgson's defence, it must be stated that in large parts this was a vibrant, energetic performance with the emphasis almost exclusively on attack.
    • 1592—1609, William Shakespeare, Sonnet LXXXIX:
      Speak of my lameness, and I straight will halt,
      Against thy reasons making no defence.
  4. (team sports) A strategy and tactics employed to prevent the other team from scoring; contrasted with offence.
  5. (team sports) The portion of a team dedicated to preventing the other team from scoring; contrasted with offence.
  6. Government policy or (infra)structure related to the military.
    Department of Defence
  7. (obsolete) Prohibition; a prohibitory ordinance.
    • Sir W. Temple
      Severe defences [] against wearing any linen under a certain breadth.

SynonymsEdit

AntonymsEdit

Derived termsEdit

TranslationsEdit

VerbEdit

defence (third-person singular simple present defences, present participle defencing, simple past and past participle defenced)

  1. (obsolete, transitive) To furnish with defences; to fortify.
    • Hales:
      Better manned and more strongly defenced.