From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishdefencede‧fence British English, defense American English /dɪˈfens/ ●●● S2 W1 noun 1 protectionDEFEND a) [uncountable] the act of protecting something or someone from attackdefence of In Britain, the defence of the country has historically been left to the navy. a firm commitment to the defense of human rights The first line of defence is a smoke detector. b) [countable] something that can be used to protect something or someone from attack The area’s flood defences need repair.defence against The immune system is the body’s defence against infection. → self-defence2 militaryPROTECT A COUNTRYDEFEND a) [uncountable] all the systems, people, materials etc that a country uses to protect itself from attack calls for a national debate on defence the Defense Department b) defences British English, defenses American English [plural] all the armies, weapons, structures etc that are available to defend a place The invading army easily overcame the town’s defences.3 against criticism [countable, uncountable]PROTECT something that you say or do in order to support someone or something that is being criticizedin somebody’s/something’s defence Jean wrote a letter to the paper in Angela’s defense.defence of a philosophical defence of nationalismcome/leap to somebody’s defence Evelyn Waugh came to Wilson’s defence and acknowledged the brilliance of the book’s themes.4 in a law court a) [countable]SCT the things that are said in a court of law to prove that someone is not guilty of a crime Major has a good defence and believes he will win the case. a defence lawyer b) the defenceSCT all the lawyers who try to prove in a court of law that someone is not guilty of a crime The defense called only one witness. → prosecution(2)5 emotions [countable]MP something you do or a way of behaving that prevents you from seeming weak or being hurt by others Liz dropped her defences and began to relax.6 sport [countable]DS the players on a sports team whose main job is to try to prevent the other team from getting pointsCOLLOCATIONS – Meaning 2: defence + NOUNa defence force (=group of soldiers, pilots etc trained to defend a country)The country's defence forces are on standby in case of an attack.a defence system (=a system of people, organizations etc to defend a country)Is the national defence system adequate?a defence policyMinisters in Brussels have been discussing a possible European defence policy.defence spending/expenditureThere were plans to cut defence spending by one billion pounds.the defence budget (=amount of money a government makes available for defence)They have called for the defence budget to be increased.the Defence Department (=part of the government dealing with defence)This is secret information, known only to the Defence Department.the Defence Secretary (=person in a government in charge of defence)The Defence Secretary is under pressure to resign.
Examples from the Corpusdefence• Defence spending has risen by 10% in the current budget.• Nowhere in one leading textbook is it treated of as a defence.• Even if it is feasible, there is no guarantee that this would provide a defence to an infringement action.• A quick break by Swansea after 17 minutes again exposed the Chester defence.• Middlesbrough were growing in confidence all the time, winning the midfield battle and occasionally opening the Ipswich defence.• National Research Laboratories are large, publicly owned defence research and development establishments.• Browning's defence lawyer says this and other evidence could have been crucial if heard by the trial jury.• He thought your freelance Mrs Howard represented the same thing that he thinks he represents himself: the defence of this country.• The defence industry relies heavily on sales of weapons to foreign countries.• Before this defence has any role to play it must be shown that the defendant has committed a tort.• The article was a rather unconvincing defence of her economic record.line of defence• At the moment, the first line of defence is usually a smoke detector on the ceiling in every corridor.• Strategically, the Marne is important for the last line of defence it presents before the Seine.• He is the last line of defence but when was the last time he won us points with a save???• She succeeded on the bill of sale point but Russell J. went on to consider her second line of defence.• His would-be assassin, presumed to be in jail, belonged to his second line of defence.• This line of defence is no better than the first.• On the face of it, two lines of defence seem to be open to him.• But nevertheless two lines of defence stand before liquidation: Chapter 11 of the bankruptcy code.in somebody’s/something’s defence• Relatives of the men say they were wrongly convicted, as they had acted in self defence.• Relatives of Poole and Mills say the two men were acting in self defence.• Probably the clearest statements on book selection are by Lester Asheim in a defence of book selection against the charge of censorship.• Cutbacks in local defence establishments is also a factor in some constituencies.• The great satisfaction was that the aspects we concentrated on in training - defence and winning loose ball - worked out well.• Among the intelligentsia, hardly a voice was raised in its defence, with the exception of a few university teachers of Marxism-Leninism.• Scott Aldridge and Andy Summerfield starred in Moscow's defence.From Longman Business Dictionarydefencede‧fence /dɪˈfens/ British English, defense American English noun [countable]1LAWthe things that are said in a court of law to try to prove that someone is not guilty of a crimeI am unhappy about the way my barrister is conducting my defence.2LAW the defence the lawyers in a court of law who try to prove that someone is not guilty of a crimethe chief witness for the defenceThe defense argued that the case should be dropped. → compare prosecution3FINANCE actions taken by a company to prevent a takeover that it does not want → crown jewels defence → Pacman defense