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The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun defence:


Comparison of usage frequency between the noun defence and its most common antonym:


Defence is sometimes a misspelling of defense.

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Definition of the noun defence

What does defence mean as a name of something?

Defence is one of the top 1000 most common nouns in the English language.

noun - plural: defences

  1. (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
    • domain: psychiatry / psychological medicine / psychopathology
    • lexical domain: Natural Processes - nouns denoting natural processes
    • synonyms of defence: defence mechanism / defence reaction / defense / defense mechanism / defense reaction
    • more generic terms: process / unconscious process = a mental process that you are not directly aware of; psychoanalytic process = a process that is assumed to occur in psychoanalytic theory
    • more specific terms:
      • compensation = a defense mechanism that conceals your undesirable shortcomings by exaggerating desirable behaviors
      • conversion = a defense mechanism represses emotional conflicts which are then converted into physical symptoms that have no organic basis
      • denial = a defense mechanism that denies painful thoughts
      • displacement = a defense mechanism that transfers affect or reaction from the original object to some more acceptable one
      • idealisation / idealization = a defense mechanism that splits something you are ambivalent about into two representations--one good and one bad
      • intellectualisation / intellectualization = a defense mechanism that uses reasoning to block out emotional stress and conflict
      • isolation = a defense mechanism in which memory of an unacceptable act or impulse is separated from the emotion originally associated with it
      • projection = a defense mechanism by which your own traits and emotions are attributed to someone else
      • rationalisation / rationalization = a defense mechanism by which your true motivation is concealed by explaining your actions and feelings in a way that is not threatening
      • reaction formation = a defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously develops attitudes and behavior that are the opposite of unacceptable repressed desires and impulses and serve to conceal them
      • regression = a defense mechanism in which you flee from reality by assuming a more infantile state
      • repression = the classical defense mechanism that protects you from impulses or ideas that would cause anxiety by preventing them from becoming conscious
  2. (sports) the team that is trying to prevent the other team from scoring
  3. the defendant and his legal advisors collectively
  4. an organization of defenders that provides resistance against attack
  5. the speech act of answering an attack on your assertions
    • lexical domain: Communicative Processes - nouns denoting communicative processes and contents
    • synonyms of defence: defense / refutation
    • more generic word: answer = the speech act of replying to a question
    • more specific words:
      • confutation = the speech act of refuting conclusively
      • rebuttal = the speech act of refuting by offering a contrary contention or argument
  6. the justification for some act or belief
  7. a structure used to defend against attack
  8. a defendant's answer or plea denying the truth of the charges against him
    • domain: jurisprudence / law
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonyms of defence: defense / demurrer / denial
    • more generic terms: due process / due process of law = the administration of justice according to established rules and principles
    • more specific word: entrapment = a defense that claims the defendant would not have broken the law if not tricked into doing it by law enforcement officials
    • part of: trial = the determination of a person's innocence or guilt by due process of law
  9. (military) military action or resources protecting a country against potential enemies
  10. protection from harm
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonym of defence: defense
    • more generic word: protection = the activity of protecting someone or something
  11. the act of defending someone or something against attack or injury
    • lexical domain: Acts - nouns denoting acts or actions
    • synonym of defence: defense
    • more generic word: protection = the activity of protecting someone or something

Specialised definition of the noun defence

Glossary of sports

in sports, the method or manoeuvres that prevent the other team from scoring (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

  • region: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
  • synonym: defense

the sports team members who have responsibility for defence (2006. Dictionary of Sport and Exercise Science. A&C Black Publishers Ltd)

  • region: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
  • synonym: defense

in combat and team sports, a defensive way of fighting in order to prevent an effect of the opponent's attacks (Herbert Haag & Gerald Haag. 2003. Dictionary. Sport, Physical Education, Sport Science. Kiel, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften)

  • region: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
  • synonym: defense

in ball games, the entire line of defending players (defensive players) of a team. If their actions are successful, the team is said to have a stable or good defense. (Herbert Haag & Gerald Haag. 2003. Dictionary. Sport, Physical Education, Sport Science. Kiel, Institut für Sport und Sportwissenschaften)

  • region: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
  • synonym: defense

Glossary of sports / American football

the team that does not have possession of the ball at the start of a play (2005. Chambers Sports Factfinder. Chambers Harrap Publishers Ltd)

  • region: UK, Canada, Australia, New Zealand
  • synonym: defense


Defence a.k.a. Odbrana is a musical group.


  1. Defence a.k.a. Defenseman: Defence in ice hockey is a player position whose primary responsibility is to prevent the opposing team from scoring. They are often referred to as defencemen, D, D-men or blueliners. They were once called cover-point.
  2. Defence was an American Revolutionary War privateer that was part of the Penobscot Expedition. It was commissioned in New Haven, CT in 1776 as a brig. The ship burned to the waterline and sank. The location of the wreck was discovered in 1972 by the Maine Maritime Academy and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The wreck was studied later.
  3. Defence a.k.a. HMS Badger was a brig in service with the Royal Navy in the late eighteenth century. She is famous as the first Royal Navy ship to be commanded by Horatio Nelson.
  4. DeFence: 'deFENCE' is an interactive conceptual art project for freedom of cohabitation, designed in such a way as to include each beholder personally. In tradition of Marcel Duchamp, the two main roles of this exhibit are the work itself, and the person watching it. Only here, the subjective role of the beholder is not the only one. They are personally drawn into the exhibit, by way of a mirror.

Phrases with Defence

Phrases starting with the word Defence:

  1. defence force
  2. Defence Accord
  3. defence policy
  4. defence system
  5. defence program
  6. defence reaction
  7. Defence Diplomacy
  8. defence mechanism

Phrases ending with the word Defence:

  1. bw defence
  2. Goal Defence
  3. self-defence
  4. Wing Defence
  5. hasty defence
  6. line of defence
  7. Twinkie Defence
  8. chemical defence
  9. biological defence
  10. deliberate defence
  11. Preemptive Self-Defence

Other phrase containing the word Defence:

  1. missile defence system

View more phrases with the word Defence in thesaurus!

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Defence

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Google previewFCS Criminal Law L3

private defence private defence is a ground for justification. Private defence is the act of using force to stop someone who is attacking you, your property or someone else private law private...

Google previewEssays on Civil-military Relations, Military-industrial Relations, Aircraft Weapon Procurement and International Relations (1998)

by Glen Segell

Parliamentary influence over defence is a matter of speculation and its debates are but a limited source of information. Important questions to the relevant ministers and the prime minister are usually deflected. Direct reference to hansard is the ...

Google previewThe New South Wales weekly notes (1908)

The next objection is that the afiidavit does not disclose a defence upon the merits. The defence is that the premises were let for an illegal ...

Google previewA Treatise on Pleading, and Parties to Actions (1844)

With Second and Third Volumes, Containing Precedents of Pleadings, and an Appendix of Forms Adapted to the Recent Pleadings and Other Rules, with Practical Notes ... by Joseph Chitty

Perhaps the relaxation which permits the general issue to be pleaded, where the defence is that the contract was not binding, or was invalid in its origin, on account of the defendant's incapacity to contract or the illegality of the consideration ...

Google previewThe Referendum on Separation for Scotland (2013)

How Would Separation Affect Jobs in the Scottish Defence Industry?, Eighth Report of Session 2012-13, Report, Together with Formal Minutes by Great Britain: Parliament: House of Commons: Scottish Affairs Committee

For example, Smart Defence is a NATO initiative,”9 so a separate Scotland would have to apply to join NATO to take advantage of that. Entry to NATO would not be automatic, particularly given that a separate Scotland would want to ...

Google previewConcise Encyclopaedia Of India : (2006)

by Kulwant Rai Gupta, Amita Gupta

Defence. India has a strong military power. Indian military comprises Indian Army, Indian Navy, Air Force, the Strategic Forces Command, various security and paramilitary forces including Border Security Force, Assam Rifles, Rashtriya Rifles, ...

Google previewA Law Dictionary Adapted to the Constitution and Laws of the United States of America, and of the Several States of the American Union (1855)

With References to the Civil and Other Systems of Foreign Law by John Bouvier

But it sometimes happened, that after a plea had been pleaded, and while the parties were out of court, in consequence of such continuance, a new matter of defence arose, which did not exist, and which the defendant had consequently no ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Psychology (2015)

by Andrew M. Colman

defence, perceptual deep tendon reflex n. The simplest type of reflex, involving only two neurons, characterized by a quick contraction of a muscle (with a normal latency of 15–25 milliseconds), triggered by a signal from a *muscle spindle ...

Google previewHistorical Dictionary of Signals Intelligence (2012)

by Nigel West

DEFENCE SIGNALS BRANCH (DSB). Australia's principal signalsintelligence agency from 1949, the DSB was renamed the Defence Signals Division (DSD) in 1964. Although ostensibly a national organization, the DSB was actually a joint ...

Google previewA Complete Dictionary of the English Language, Both with Regard to Sound and Meaning (1790)

by Thomas Sheridan

DEFENCE, dé- fún'se. s. Guard, protection ; vindication, justification, apology; prohibition ; resistance; ...

Google previewThe Gentleman's Dictionary (1705)

In Three Parts. Viz. I. The Art of Riding the Great Horse ... II. The Military Art ... III. The Art of Navigation ... by Guillet (sieur.)

FLANK, is that part of the Kampart which joins the Face and the Curtin, comprehended betwixt the Angle of the curtin and the Angle of the shoulder, and is the principal Defence of a Place. Engineers have differed very much about raising the ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Defence

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Photos about Defence

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Photo credit: Ž. Markevičius

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of Self defence. Focus of a young cute serious fighter, training kickboxing high kick exercise with her foot, outdoors, in pink fashionable sport outfit, trendy sneakersSmall photo of Woman power, self defence concept. Close up portrait of attractive serious fit boxer, ready for fight, on concrete wall background, wearing pink fashionable sport wearSmall photo of Woman - Self DefenceSmall photo of April 8th, 2017 - Birmingham, UK: English Defence League (EDF) stages a rally to protest the "islamisation" of the UK, amongst other issues. UK is suffering divisions between locals and foreignersSmall photo of Photos of chess openings. Slav Defence.Small photo of Photos of chess openings. Dutch Defence.Small photo of Photos of chess openings. Grunfeld Defence. More...

Video language resources about Defence

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View more videos about In Defence, Wing Defence, Defence Policy, Twinkie defence, and Defence Diplomacy.

See also the pronunciation examples of Defence!

Quotes about Defence

The history of man is the history of crimes, and history can repeat. So information is a defence. Through this we can build, we must build, a defence against repetition. (Simon Wiesenthal)
more quotes about defence...

Scrabble value of D2E1F4E1N1C3E1

The value of this 7-letter word is 13 points. It is included in the first and second editions of the Official Scrabble Players Dictionary.

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