Hypertext Webster Gateway: "defense"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Defense \De*fense"\, Defence \De*fence"\, n. [F. d['e]fense, OF.
defense, fem., defens, masc., fr. L. defensa (cf. LL.
defensum), from defendere. See {Defend}, and cf. {Fence}.]
1. The act of defending, or the state of being defended;
protection, as from violence or danger.

In cases of defense 't is best to weigh The enemy
more mighty than he seems. --Shak.

2. That which defends or protects; anything employed to
oppose attack, ward off violence or danger, or maintain
security; a guard; a protection.

War would arise in defense of the right. --Tennyson.

God, the widow's champion and defense. --Shak.

3. Protecting plea; vindication; justification.

Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense.
--Acts xxii.

4. (Law) The defendant's answer or plea; an opposing or
denial of the truth or validity of the plaintiff's or
prosecutor's case; the method of proceeding adopted by the
defendant to protect himself against the plaintiff's

5. Act or skill in making defense; defensive plan or policy;
practice in self defense, as in fencing, boxing, etc.

A man of great defense. --Spenser.

By how much defense is better than no skill. --Shak.

6. Prohibition; a prohibitory ordinance. [Obs.]

Severe defenses . . . against wearing any linen
under a certain breadth. --Sir W.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Defense \De*fense"\, v. t.
To furnish with defenses; to fortify. [Obs.] [Written also

Better manned and more strongly defensed. --Hales.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

n 1: the team that is trying to prevent the other team from
scoring; "his teams are always good on defense" [syn: {defence},
{defending team}] [ant: {offense}, {offense}]
2: military action or resources protecting a country against
potential enemies; "they died in the defense of
Stalingrad"; "they were developed for the defense program"
[syn: {defence}, {defensive measure}]
3: the defendant and his legal advisors collectively; "the
defense called for a mistrial" [syn: {defence}, {defense
team}, {defense lawyers}] [ant: {prosecution}]
4: protection from harm; "sanitation is the best defense
against disease" [syn: {defence}]
5: a structure used for defense; "the artillery battered down
the defenses" [syn: {defensive structure}, {defence}]
6: the speech act of answering an attack on your assertions;
"his refutation of the charges was short and persuasive";
"in defense he said the other man started it" [syn: {refutation},
7: the justification for some act or belief; "he offered a
persuasive defense of the theory" [syn: {defence}, {vindication}]
8: a defendant's answer or plea denying the truth of the
charges against him; "he gave evidence for the defense"
[syn: {defence}, {denial}, {demurrer}] [ant: {prosecution}]
9: an organization of defenders that provides resistance
against attack; "he joined the defense against invasion"
[syn: {defence}, {defense force}, {defence force}]
10: the federal department responsible for safeguarding national
security; created in 1947 [syn: {Department of Defense},
{Defense Department}, {Defense}, {DoD}]
11: (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the
anxiety associated with instinctive desires [syn: {defense
mechanism}, {defense reaction}, {defence mechanism}, {defence
reaction}, {defence}]

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