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3 definitions found
 for defend
From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48 :

  Defend \De*fend"\ (d[-e]*f[e^]nd"), v. t. [imp. & p. p.
     Defended; p. pr. & vb. n. Defending.] [F. d['e]fendre, L.
     defendere; de- + fendere (only in comp.) to strike; perh.
     akin to Gr. qei`nein to strike, and E. dint. Cf. Dint,
     Defense, Fend.]
     1. To ward or fend off; to drive back or away; to repel. [A
        Latinism & Obs.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Th' other strove for to defend
              The force of Vulcan with his might and main.
                                                    --Spenser.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. To prohibit; to forbid. [Obs.] --Chaucer.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Which God defend that I should wring from him.
                                                    --Shak.
  
     3. To repel danger or harm from; to protect; to secure
        against attack; to maintain against force or argument; to
        uphold; to guard; as, to defend a town; to defend a cause;
        to defend character; to defend the absent; -- sometimes
        followed by from or against; as, to defend one's self
        from, or against, one's enemies.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              The lord mayor craves aid . . . to defend the city.
                                                    --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              God defend the right!                 --Shak.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              A village near it was defended by the river.
                                                    --Clarendon.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     4. (Law.) To deny the right of the plaintiff in regard to
        (the suit, or the wrong charged); to oppose or resist, as
        a claim at law; to contest, as a suit. --Burrill.
  
     Syn: To Defend, Protect.
  
     Usage: To defend is literally to ward off; to protect is to
            cover so as to secure against approaching danger. We
            defend those who are attacked; we protect those who
            are liable to injury or invasion. A fortress is
            defended by its guns, and protected by its wall.
            [1913 Webster]
  
                  As birds flying, so will the Lord of hosts
                  defend Jerusalem; defending also he will deliver
                  it.                               --Is. xxxi. 5.
            [1913 Webster]
  
                  Leave not the faithful side
                  That gave thee being, still shades thee and
                  protects.                         --Milton.
            [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  defend
      v 1: argue or speak in defense of; "She supported the motion to
           strike" [syn: defend, support, fend for]
      2: be on the defensive; act against an attack [ant: assail,
         attack]
      3: protect against a challenge or attack; "Hold that position
         behind the trees!"; "Hold the bridge against the enemy's
         attacks" [syn: defend, guard, hold]
      4: fight against or resist strongly; "The senator said he would
         oppose the bill"; "Don't fight it!" [syn: fight, oppose,
         fight back, fight down, defend]
      5: protect or fight for as a champion [syn: champion,
         defend]
      6: be the defense counsel for someone in a trial; "Ms. Smith
         will represent the defendant" [syn: defend, represent]
         [ant: prosecute]
      7: state or assert; "He maintained his innocence" [syn:
         maintain, defend]

From Moby Thesaurus II by Grady Ward, 1.0 :

  96 Moby Thesaurus words for "defend":
     account, advocate, air, allege in support, answer, argue,
     argue for, arm, armor, assert, avert, back, battle, bless, bulwark,
     champion, claim, cloak, compass about, conserve, contend,
     contend for, copyright, counter, cover, cushion, ensure, espouse,
     explain, express, fence, fend, fend off, fight, fight for, flank,
     fortify, guarantee, guard, guard against, harbor, haven, insure,
     justify, keep, keep from harm, keep safe, maintain, make a plea,
     make safe, nestle, oppose, parry, patent, plead for, police,
     preserve, prevent, protect, rationalize, rebut, refute, register,
     reply, resist, respond, ride shotgun for, riposte, safeguard, save,
     say in defense, screen, secure, shelter, shield, shroud, speak for,
     speak up for, stand by, stand up for, stick up for, support,
     sustain, underwrite, uphold, urge reasons for, utter, vent,
     vindicate, voice, war, ward, ward off, warrant, watch over,
     withstand
  
  

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