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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Defend


DEFEND, verb transitive

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 ones 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.

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 10:1.

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 wall, a hill or a river.

DEFEND, verb intransitive To make opposition; as, the party comes into court, defends and says.