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noun 1. 

/dəˈfɛns/ (say duh'fens) resistance against attack; protection.


/dəˈfɛns/ (say duh'fens) something that defends, especially a fortification.


/dəˈfɛns/ (say duh'fens) the defending of a cause or the like by speech, argument, etc.


/dəˈfɛns/ (say duh'fens) a speech, argument, etc., in vindication.


/dəˈfɛns/ (say duh'fens) Law
a.  a defendant's denial or pleading in answer to a claim or charge.
b.  the proceedings adopted by a defendant, or his or her legal agents, for defending a charge.
c.  a defendant together with his or her legal agents.


/dəˈfɛns/ (say duh'fens), Originally US /ˈdifɛns/ (say 'deefens)
a.  the practice or art of defending oneself or one's goal against attack, as in fencing, boxing, soccer, etc.
b.  the players in a team collectively whose primary function is to defend the goal, etc.
c.  a plan or system of defending.Also, US, defense. [Middle English, from Old French, from Late Latin dēfensa prohibition, from Latin dēfendere ward off; replacing Middle English defens, from Old French, from Latin dēfensum (thing) forbidden, properly past participle of dēfendere]
defenceless, adjective
defencelessly, adverb
defencelessness, noun