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1. The act of defending against attack, danger, or injury.
2. A means or method of defending or protecting.
3. Sports The act or an instance of defending a championship against a challenger: will box in his third defense of his title.
4. An argument in support or justification of something. See Synonyms at apology.
5. Law
a. The act of defending a case.
b. A fact or law that provides a full or partial exoneration of the defendant against the charges or claims made in a lawsuit or prosecution.
c. The defendant and his or her legal counsel.
6. The science or art of defending oneself; self-defense.
7. (often dē′fĕns′) Sports
a. The means or tactics used in trying to stop the opposition from scoring.
b. The team or those players on the team attempting to stop the opposition from scoring.
c. Defending ability or potential.
8. The military, governmental, and industrial complex, especially as it authorizes and manages weaponry production.
tr.v. de·fensed, de·fens·ing, de·fens·es Sports
1. To attempt to stop (the opposition) from scoring.
2. To play defense against (an opponent or play).

[Middle English, from Old French, from Latin dēfēnsa, from feminine past participle of dēfendere, to ward off; see defend.]

de·fense′less adj.
de·fense′less·ly adv.
de·fense′less·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.defenseless - lacking protection or support; "a defenseless child"
vulnerable - susceptible to attack; "a vulnerable bridge"
2.defenseless - having no protecting or concealing cover; "naked to mine enemies"- Shakespeare
unprotected - lacking protection or defense
3.defenseless - lacking weapons for self-defense
unarmed - (used of persons or the military) not having or using arms; "went alone and unarmed"; "unarmed peasants were shot down"; "unarmed vehicles"
Adv.1.defenseless - without defense; "the child was standing in the middle of the crossfire, defenselessly"


Devoid of help or protection:


a. indefenso-a, inerme.
References in classic literature ?
We must expose our property and liberty to the mercy of foreign invaders, and invite them by our weakness to seize the naked and defenseless prey, because we are afraid that rulers, created by our choice, dependent on our will, might endanger that liberty, by an abuse of the means necessary to its preservation.
As the brutes, growling and foaming, rushed upon the almost defenseless women I turned my head that I might not see the horrid sight.
With an ugly snarl he closed upon his defenseless victim, but ere his fangs had reached the throat they thirsted for, there was a sharp report and a bullet entered the ape's back between his shoulders.
A sinking man who clutches at another and drowns him; or a hungry mother exhausted by feeding her baby, who steals some food; or a man trained to discipline who on duty at the word of command kills a defenseless man- seem less guilty, that is, less free and more subject to the law of necessity, to one who knows the circumstances in which these people were placed, and more free to one who does not know that the man was himself drowning, that the mother was hungry, that the soldier was in the ranks, and so on.
A solitary, defenseless woman, I stood pledged to myself to carry that desperate resolution through to an end.
In a tweet, Trump said "horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshippers in Egypt.
Trump described the attack as "horrible and cowardly terrorist attack on innocent and defenseless worshipers," adding that the world cannot tolerate terrorism; "we must defeat them militarily and discredit the extremist ideology that forms the basis of their existence
2 (BNA): Kuwait has demanded the international community to shoulder its responsibilities and take a clear and solid stance that translates solidarity of the world with the Palestinian people and compel Israel to stop its barbaric aggression against the defenseless Palestinian people.
Where is the courage in hurting let alone killing a defenseless person.
military checkpoint to the south of Nablus, and called for supporting the Palestinian bidof statehood to end the Israeli occupation 'crimes against the defenseless Palestinians'.
He highlighted that the Americans have been watching silently the crimes committed by the terrorist organizations against defenseless innocents in Syria and Iraq for four years without uttering a word of rejection of those heinous acts.
Synopsis: Private eye Ava Rome's calling is to protect the defenseless.