Webster's Dictionary, 1913
Defense, Defence noun
[ French défense
, Old French defense
, fem., defens
, masc., from Latin defensa
(cf. Late Latin defensum
), from defendere
. See Defend
, and confer Fence
.] 1. The act of defending, or the state of being defended; protection, as from violence or danger.
In cases of defense 't is best to weigh Shak. 2. That which defends or protects; anything employed to oppose attack, ward off violence or danger, or maintain security; a guard; a protection.
The enemy more mighty than he seems.
War would arise in defense of the right. Tennyson.
God, the widow's champion and defense . Shak. 3. Protecting plea; vindication; justification.
Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense . Acts xxii. 1. 4. (Law) The defendant's answer or plea; an opposing or denial of the truth or validity of the plaintiff's or prosecutor's case; the method of proceeding adopted by the defendant to protect himself against the plaintiff's action. 5. Act or skill in making defense; defensive plan or policy; practice in self defense, as in fencing, boxing, etc.
A man of great defense . Spenser.
By how much defense is better than no skill. Shak. 6. Prohibition; a prohibitory ordinance.
Severe defenses . . . against wearing any linen under a certain breadth. Sir W. Temple.
Defenseless adjective Destitute of defense; unprepared to resist attack; unable to oppose; unprotected. -- De*fense"less*ly , adverb -- De*fense"less*ness , noun
[ Confer French défenseur
, Latin defensor
. Confer Defensor
[ Obsolete] Foxe.
Defensibility noun Capability of being defended.
[ Confer French défensable
, Late Latin defensabilis
. See Defense
, and confer Defendable
.] 1. Capable of being defended; as, a defensible city, or a defensible cause. 2. Capable of offering defense.
[ Obsolete] Shak.
Defensibleness noun Capability of being defended; defensibility. Priestley.
[ Confer French défensif
.] 1. Serving to defend or protect; proper for defense; opposed to offensive ; as, defensive armor.
A moat defensive to a house. Shak. 2. Carried on by resisting attack or aggression; -- opposed to offensive ; as, defensive war. 3. In a state or posture of defense. Milton.
Defensive noun That which defends; a safeguard.
Wars preventive, upon just fears, are true defensives . Bacon. To be on the defensive
, To stand on the defensive
, to be or stand in a state or posture of defense or resistance, in opposition to aggression or attack.
Defensively adverb On the defensive.
[ Latin See Defenser
.] 1. A defender. Fabyan. 2. (Law) A defender or an advocate in court; a guardian or protector. 3. (Eccl.) The patron of a church; an officer having charge of the temporal affairs of a church.
Defensory adjective [ Latin defensorius .] Tending to defend; defensive; as, defensory preparations.
Defer transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Deferred
; present participle & verbal noun Deferring
.] [ Middle English differren
, French différer
, from Latin differre
to delay, bear different ways; dis-
to bear. See Bear
to support, and confer Differ
to offer.] To put off; to postpone to a future time; to delay the execution of; to delay; to withhold.
Defer the spoil of the city until night. Shak.
God . . . will not long defer Milton.
To vindicate the glory of his name.
Defer intransitive verb To put off; to delay to act; to wait.
Pius was able to defer and temporize at leisure. J. A. Symonds.
Defer transitive verb
[ French déférer
to pay deference, to yield, to bring before a judge, from Latin deferre
to bring down; de-
to bear. See Bear
to support, and confer Defer
to delay, Delate
.] 1. To render or offer.
Worship deferred to the Virgin. Brevint. 2. To lay before; to submit in a respectful manner; to refer; -- with to .
Hereupon the commissioners . . . deferred the matter to the Earl of Northumberland. Bacon.
Defer intransitive verb To yield deference to the wishes of another; to submit to the opinion of another, or to authority; -- with to .
The house, deferring to legal right, acquiesced. Bancroft.
[ French déférence
. See 3d Defer
.] A yielding of judgment or preference from respect to the wishes or opinion of another; submission in opinion; regard; respect; complaisance.
Deference to the authority of thoughtful and sagacious men. Whewell.
Deference is the most complicate, the most indirect, and the most elegant of all compliments. Shenstone. Syn.
marks an inclination to yield one's opinion, and to acquiesce in the sentiments of another in preference to one's own. Respect
marks the estimation that we have for another, which makes us look to him as worthy of high confidence for the qualities of his mind and heart. Reverence
denotes a mingling of fear with a high degree of respect and esteem. Age, rank, dignity, and personal merit call for deference
should be paid to the wise and good; reverence
is due to God, to the authors of our being, and to the sanctity of the laws.
[ Latin deferens
, present participle of deferre
. See 3d Defer
.] Serving to carry; bearing.
[ R.] "Bodies deferent
Deferent noun 1. That which carries or conveys.
Though air be the most favorable deferent of sounds. Bacon. 2. (Ptolemaic Astron.) An imaginary circle surrounding the earth, in whose periphery either the heavenly body or the center of the heavenly body's epicycle was supposed to be carried round.
[ See Deference
.] Expressing deference; accustomed to defer.
Deferentially adverb With deference.
[ See 1st Defer
.] The act of delaying; postponement.
My grief, joined with the instant business, Suckling.
Begs a deferment .
Deferrer noun One who defers or puts off.
Defervescence, Defervescency noun
[ Latin defervescere
to grow cool.] 1. A subsiding from a state of ebullition; loss of heat; lukewarmness.
A defervescency in holy actions. Jer. Taylor. 2. (Medicine) The subsidence of a febrile process; as, the stage of defervescence in pneumonia.
Defeudalize transitive verb To deprive of the feudal character or form.
[ Old French defiance
, challenge, from desfier
to challenge, French défier
. See Defy
.] 1. The act of defying, putting in opposition, or provoking to combat; a challenge; a provocation; a summons to combat.
A war without a just defiance made. Dryden.
Stood for her cause, and flung defiance down. Tennyson. 2. A state of opposition; willingness to flight; disposition to resist; contempt of opposition.
He breathed defiance to my ears. Shak. 3. A casting aside; renunciation; rejection.
[ Obsolete] " Defiance
to thy kindness." Ford. To bid defiance
, To set at defiance
, to defy; to disregard recklessly or contemptuously. Locke.
[ Confer French défiant
, present participle of défier
. See Defy
.] Full of defiance; bold; insolent; as, a defiant spirit or act.
In attitude stern and defiant . Longfellow.
[ See Defy
.] Bidding or manifesting defiance.
[ Obsolete] Shelford.
Defibrinate transitive verb To deprive of fibrin, as fresh blood or lymph by stirring with twigs.
Defibrination noun The act or process of depriving of fibrin.
Defibrinize transitive verb To defibrinate.
Deficience noun Same as Deficiency .
Thou in thyself art perfect, and in thee Milton.
Is no deficience found.
; plural Deficiencies
. [ See Deficient
.] The state of being deficient; inadequacy; want; failure; imperfection; shortcoming; defect.
of blood." Arbuthnot.
[ Marlborough] was so miserably ignorant, that his deficiencies made him the ridicule of his contemporaries. Buckle. Deficiency of a curve (Geom.)
, the amount by which the number of double points on a curve is short of the maximum for curves of the same degree.
[ Latin deficiens
, present participle of deficere
to be wanting. See Defect
.] Wanting, to make up completeness; wanting, as regards a requirement; not sufficient; inadequate; defective; imperfect; incomplete; lacking; as, deficient parts; deficient estate; deficient strength; deficient in judgment.
The style was indeed deficient in ease and variety. Macaulay. Deficient number
. (Arith.) See under Abundant .
[ Lit., it is wanting
, 3d person present indic. of Latin deficere
, confer French déficit
. See Defect
.] Deficiency in amount or quality; a falling short; lack; as, a deficit in taxes, revenue, etc. Addison.
[ See Defy
.] One who dares and defies; a contemner; as, a defier of the laws.
Defiguration noun Disfiguration; mutilation. [ Obsolete] Bp. Hall.
Defigure transitive verb
[ Prefix de-
(intens.) + figure
.] To delineate.
These two stones as they are here defigured . Weever.
Defilade transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Defiladed
; present participle & verbal noun Defilading
.] [ Confer French défiler
to defile, and défilade
act of defiling. See 1st Defile
.] (Mil.) To raise, as a rampart, so as to shelter interior works commanded from some higher point.
Defilading noun (Mil.) The art or act of determining the directions and heights of the lines of rampart with reference to the protection of the interior from exposure to an enemy's fire from any point within range, or from any works which may be erected. Farrow.
(de*fīl") intransitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Defiled
(-fīld"); present participle & verbal noun Defiling
.] [ French défiler
; prefix dé-
, for des-
) + file
a row or line. See File
a row.] To march off in a line, file by file; to file off.
Defile transitive verb (Mil.) Same as Defilade .
dē"fīl; 277) noun
[ Confer French défilé
, from défiler
to defile.] 1. Any narrow passage or gorge in which troops can march only in a file, or with a narrow front; a long, narrow pass between hills, rocks, etc. 2. (Mil.) The act of defilading a fortress, or of raising the exterior works in order to protect the interior. See Defilade .
(de*fīl") transitive verb
[ Middle English defoulen
, to tread down, Old French defouler
to trample (see Full
, transitive verb
), and Middle English defoulen
to foul (influenced in form by the older verb defoilen
). See File
to defile, Foul
.] 1. To make foul or impure; to make filthy; to dirty; to befoul; to pollute.
They that touch pitch will be defiled . Shak. 2. To soil or sully; to tarnish, as reputation; to taint.
He is . . . among the greatest prelates of this age, however his character may be defiled by . . . dirty hands. Swift. 3. To injure in purity of character; to corrupt.
Defile not yourselves with the idols of Egypt. Ezek. xx. 7. 4. To corrupt the chastity of; to debauch; to violate.
The husband murder'd and the wife defiled . Prior. 5. To make ceremonially unclean; to pollute.
That which dieth of itself, or is torn with beasts, he shall not eat to defile therewith. Lev. xxii. 8.
[ Confer French défilement
. See Defile
] (Mil.) The protection of the interior walls of a fortification from an enfilading fire, as by covering them, or by a high parapet on the exposed side.
[ From 3d Defile
.] The act of defiling, or state of being defiled, whether physically or morally; pollution; foulness; dirtiness; uncleanness.
Defilements of the flesh. Hopkins.
The chaste can not rake into such filth without danger of defilement . Addison.
Defiler noun One who defiles; one who corrupts or violates; that which pollutes.
Defiliation noun [ Latin de- + filius son.] Abstraction of a child from its parents. Lamb.
[ From Define
.] Capable of being defined, limited, or explained; determinable; describable by definition; ascertainable; as, definable limits; definable distinctions or regulations; definable words.
Define transitive verb
[ imperfect & past participle Defined
; present participle & verbal noun Defining
.] [ Middle English definer
, usually, to end, to finish, French définir
to define, Latin definire
to limit, define; de-
to limit, end, finis
boundary, limit, end. See Final
.] 1. To fix the bounds of; to bring to a termination; to end.
controversies." Barrow. 2. To determine or clearly exhibit the boundaries of; to mark the limits of; as, to define the extent of a kingdom or country. 3. To determine with precision; to mark out with distinctness; to ascertain or exhibit clearly; as, the defining power of an optical instrument.
Rings . . . very distinct and well defined . Sir I. Newton. 4. To determine the precise signification of; to fix the meaning of; to describe accurately; to explain; to expound or interpret; as, to define a word, a phrase, or a scientific term.
They define virtue to be life ordered according to nature. Robynson (More's Utopia).
Define intransitive verb To determine; to decide. [ Obsolete]