defend

Definitions

General English

Cricket

  • verb to bat in a defensive style
    Citation ‘His ability to read the leg-spin was always evident, and his judgment of when to hit the ball and when to defend was infallible’ (Mike Selvey, WCM January 1985)

Law

  • verb to speak on behalf of someone who has been charged with a crime

Military

  • verb to resist an attack
  • verb to justify an action or opinion

Politics

  • verb to act to protect someone or something
  • verb to fight an election to keep an elected position
  • verb to speak to show that your actions were right

Sports

  • verb to resist the attacks of an opposing player or team and try to prevent them from scoring
  • verb to try to retain a sporting title by competing in the relevant competitions
  • verb to protect the goal and goal area from the attacks of the opposition

Origin & History of “defend”

Defend comes via Old French defendre from Latin dēfendere ‘ward off’, a compound verb formed from the prefix - ‘off, away’ and an element that survives elsewhere only in other compound forms (represented in English by offend). It has been suggested that this is related to Sanskrit han- ‘strike’ and Old English gūth ‘battle’, and that it can be traced ultimately to a prehistoric Indo-European *gwendh-. Defend had not long become established in English when it produced the offspring fend, dispensing with the first syllable. This in turn formed the basis of the derivatives fender (15th c.) and forfend (14th c.). Fence likewise comes from defence.
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