de-fend / dĭ-fĕnd
1. to fight to protect something; to guard against attack or harm
Freedom is the sure possession of those alone who have the courage to defend it.
Pericles 495 BC -429 BC
2. to stand up for something in the face of criticism; uphold; justify
Venture not to defend what your judgment doubts of.
3. in an oral examination, to provide responses to justify ones’ position
While the requirements for this process will typically vary from institution to institution, defending the thesis generally incorporates presenting your main argument to an academic faculty and supporting your primary points with clear, convincing logic that lends credence to the fundamental concepts being advanced within the body of the work.
“What Does It Mean to Defend a Thesis?”, www.topdegreesonline.org/faq/what-does-it-mean-to-defend-a-thesis, accessed November 9, 2023
4. in sports, to try to prevent the opposition from scoring
We’re trying to get guys to defend the goal line with a passion and take it personal when teams move the ball.
Dick Tomey, 1938 – 2019
5. to compete against a challenger in an attempt to retain one’s ranking or position
UFC middleweight champion Sean Strickland will defend his title against Dricus Du Plessis in January.
Brett Okamoto, “UFC champ Sean Strickland to defend title vs. Dricus Du Plessis”, ESPN, www.espn.com/mma/story/_/id/38833946/ufc-champ-sean-strickland-defend-title-vs-dricus-du-plessis, November 6, 2023
6. to represent a defendant as an attorney in a civil or criminal case
The 1854 arrest of schoolteacher Elizabeth Jennings — who was defended in court by future U.S. President Chester A. Arthur — led to the desegregation of NYC streetcar service.
Olivia B. Waxman, “’I Was Not Going to Stand.’ Rosa Parks Predecessors Recall Their History-Making Acts of Resistance”, ‘Time’, March 2, 2020