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: one who answers or defends in various proceedings: as
a : an answering party in an equitable proceeding
b : a party against whom a petition (as for a writ of habeas corpus) seeking relief is brought
c : an answering party in a proceeding in juvenile court or family court
: a party against whom a divorce proceeding is brought
d : a party prevailing at trial who defends the outcome on appeal
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.