Definition for DE-FEND'

DE-FEND', v.t. [L. defendo; de and obs. fendo; Fr. defendre; It. difendere; Sp. defender; Port. id.; Arm. difenn, or divenn; W. difyn; Norm. fendu; struck; defender, to oppose, to prohibit. The primary sense is to strike, thrust, or drive off; to repel.]

  1. To drive from; to thrust back; hence, to deny; to repel a demand, charge, or accusation; to oppose; to resist; the effect of which is to maintain one's own claims.
  2. To forbid; to prohibit; that is, to drive from, or back. Milton calls the forbidden fruit, the defended fruit. The use of wine in some places is defended by customs or laws. – Temple. [This application is nearly obsolete.]
  3. To drive back a foe or danger; to repel from any thing that which assails or annoys; to protect by opposition or resistance; to support or maintain; to prevent from being injured or destroyed. There arose, to defend Israel, Tola the son of Puah. Judges x.
  4. To vindicate; to assert; to uphold; to maintain uninjured, by force or by argument; as, to defend our cause; to defend rights and privileges; to defend reputation.
  5. To secure against attacks or evil; to fortify against danger or violence; to set obstacles to the approach of any thing that can annoy. A garden may be defended by a grove. A camp may be defended by a wall, a hill, or a river.

Return to page 36 of the letter “D”.