defend


defend
defend 1 Defend, protect, shield, guard, safeguard mean to keep secure from danger or against attack.
Defend implies the use of means to ward off something that actually threatens or to repel something that actually attacks
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raise a large army to defend the country from aggression

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guns used in defending the explorers against hostile incursions of the natives

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the independence of the Supreme Court of the United States should be defended at all costs— Lippmann

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Protect implies the use of a covering as a bar to the admission or impact of what may injure or destroy
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protect one's estate from intruders by a high wall

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protect one's eyes from the sun by dark glasses

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protect one's family by ample insurance

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protect tobacco plants by a cheesecloth screen

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the ring of old forts which so far had protected the city successfully— P. W. Thompson

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Shield differs from protect especially in its suggestion of a protective intervention comparable to a medieval warrior's shield before one exposed to imminent danger or actual attack
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Heavens shield Lysander, if they mean a fray!— Shak.

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I could scarcely believe that she would wish to shield her husband's murderer, if he were that— Rose Macaulay

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Guard implies a standing watch at or over for the sake of defense; it usually connotes vigilance
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the entrances to the palace are well guarded

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the president is always guarded by secret service men

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the accumulation of private wealth in Boston, thriftily guarded by the canny Whigs— Brooks

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inmates of a fortress are defended by its guns, protected by its walls, and guarded by sentries against surprise

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Safeguard, much more strongly than any of the preceding words, implies use of protective measures where merely potential danger exists
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safeguard children who play on the streets

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safeguard our shores from attack

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in all this he was more than worldly- wise. He was safeguarding his own self-respect— Repplier

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Analogous words: ward, avert, *prevent: oppose, *resist, withstand: fight, battle, war, *contend
Antonyms: combat: attack
Contrasted words: assault, assail, bombard, storm (see ATTACK): submit, cave, *yield, capitulate
2 assert, *maintain, justify, vindicate
Analogous words: voice, vent, utter, *express, air: *explain, account, justify, rationalize: *support, champion, uphold, back defer, postpone, intermit, suspend, stay mean to cause a delay in an action, activity, or proceeding.
Defer suggests little more than a putting off till a later time; ordinarily it implies an intentional delaying
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defer a discussion of a proposal until more members are present

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defer payment on a note

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he deferred giving his son needed advice until he found the boy in a less refractory mood

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It may imply a delay in fulfillment, attainment, or fruition that is occasioned by conditions beyond one's control
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hope deferred maketh the heart sick— Prov 13:12

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reluctantly, he made up his mind to defer the more exacting examinations until another time— Cronin

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Postpone implies an intentional deferring, commonly until a definite time
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postpone a meeting for a week

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her dentist was willing to postpone her appointment until Saturday

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I think that we had better postpone our look round the church until after lunch— Mackenzie

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Intermit implies a stopping for a time, usually as a measure of relief, and typically with an expectation of starting again after an interval
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pray to the gods to intermit the plague— Shak.

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when seriously urged to intermit his application [to study], and allow himself a holiday— Pattison

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Suspend denotes a stopping or making inoperative for a time and usually for a reason (as personal desire or a legal restriction) that is implicit or explicit in the context
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Eleanor's work was suspended while she gazed with increasing astonishment— Austen

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suspend trolley service during the parade

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Henchard gave orders that the proceedings were to be suspendedHardy

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Congress has authorized the president to suspend the operation of a statute— Justice Holmes

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suspend one's judgment of a person charged with a crime

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Stay implies the interposition of an obstacle to something that is in progress; it may suggest bringing it to a complete stop, but more often it suggests an intermitting or suspending or a slackening of pace
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two spectators started forward, but she stayed them with a motion of her hand— Dickens

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they couldn't stay the flow of her ideas by reminding her how much the alteration would cost— Mary Austin

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when his mind fails to stay the pace set by its inventions, madness must ensue—Day Lewis

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Analogous words: *delay, retard, slow
Contrasted words: hasten, hurry, *speed, accelerate

New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Defend — De*fend (d[ e]*f[e^]nd ), v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Defended}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Defending}.] [F. d[ e]fendre, L. defendere; de + fendere (only in comp.) to strike; perh. akin to Gr. qei nein to strike, and E. dint. Cf. {Dint}, {Defense}, {Fend}.] 1.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • defend — de·fend vt 1: to drive danger or attack away from using a weapon to defend oneself 2: to act as attorney for (a defendant) appointed to defend the accused 3: to deny or oppose the rights of a plaintiff in regard to (a suit or claim) intend to… …   Law dictionary

  • defend — de‧fend [dɪˈfend] verb [transitive] LAW 1. if a lawyer defends someone charged with a crime, he or she represents that person and argues that they are not guilty of the charge 2. to do something in order to stop something being taken away or to… …   Financial and business terms

  • defend — mid 13c., from O.Fr. defendre (12c.) defend, resist, and directly from L. defendere ward off, protect, guard, allege in defense, from de from, away (see DE (Cf. de )) + fendere to strike, push, from PIE root *gwhen to strike, kill (see BANE (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • defend — [v1] protect avert, battle, beat off, bulwark, care for, cherish, conserve, contend, cover, entrench, espouse, fend off, fight, fight for, fortify, foster, garrison, guard, guard against, hedge, hold, hold at bay, house, insure, keep safe, look… …   New thesaurus

  • defend — ► VERB 1) resist an attack on; protect from harm or danger. 2) conduct the case for (the party being accused or sued) in a lawsuit. 3) attempt to justify. 4) compete to retain (a title or seat) in a contest or election. 5) (in sport) protect one… …   English terms dictionary

  • defend — [dē fend′, difend′] vt. [ME defenden < OFr defendre < L defendere, to ward off, repel < de , away, from + fendere, to strike < IE base * gwhen , to strike > Gr theinein, to kill, strike, OE guth, combat] 1. a) to guard from attack; …   English World dictionary

  • defend */*/*/ — UK [dɪˈfend] / US verb Word forms defend : present tense I/you/we/they defend he/she/it defends present participle defending past tense defended past participle defended 1) [transitive] to protect someone or something from attack Thousands of… …   English dictionary

  • defend — de|fend W3S3 [dıˈfend] v [Date: 1200 1300; : Old French; Origin: defendre, from Latin defendere, from fendere to hit ] 1.) [I and T] to do something in order to protect someone or something from being attacked ▪ a struggle to defend our homeland… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • defend — de|fend [ dı fend ] verb *** ▸ 1 protect from attack ▸ 2 speak to support someone/something ▸ 3 prevent something from failing ▸ 4 in law ▸ 5 try to win again ▸ 6 in sports 1. ) transitive to protect someone or something from attack: Thousands of …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English


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