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defend vt1 : to drive danger or attack away from [using a weapon to oneself]
2 : to act as attorney for (a defendant) [appointed to the accused]
3 : to deny or oppose the rights of a plaintiff in regard to (a suit or claim) [intend to the case]
1 : to take action against attack or challenge [not justified in striking first, but may ]
2 : to present a defense [may not thereafter on grounds of insanity "W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr."]
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.