defence, n. (US defense)
1 the act of defending from or resisting attack.
2 a a means of resisting attack. b a thing that protects. c the military resources of a country.
3 (in pl.) fortifications.
4 a justification, vindication. b a speech or piece of writing used to this end.
5 a the defendant's case in a lawsuit. b the counsel for the defendant.
6 a the action or role of defending one's goal etc. against attack. b the players in a team who perform this role.
1 the body's reaction against disease organisms.
2 a usu. unconscious mental process to avoid conscious conflict or anxiety.
defenceless adj. defencelessly adv. defencelessness n.
ME f. OF defens(e) f. LL defensum, -a, past part. of defendere: see DEFEND