De*fense", De*fence" (?), n. [F. d'efense, OF. defense, fem., defens, masc., fr. L. defensa (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. 1.

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 action.

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. Temple.

 

© Webster 1913.


De*fense", v. t.

To furnish with defenses; to fortify.

[Obs.] [Written also defence.]

Better manned and more strongly defensed. Hales.

© Webster 1913.

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