(New American Roget's College Thesaurus)
Resistance against assault
1. defense, protection, guard, ward; shielding, preservation, guardianship; self-defense, self-preservation; deterrent; defense or escape mechanism; resistance; safeguard (see safety).
2. shelter, fortification; bulwark; foss[e], moat, entrenchment; foxhole; dike, parapet, embankment, mound, mole, bank; earthwork; fieldwork; fence, wall, dead wall; paling, sunk fence, haha, palisade (see enclosure), barrier, barricade; portcullis, chevaux de frise, abatis; battlement, rampart, scarp; glacis, casemate, buttress, abutment; breastwork, curtain, bastion, redan, ravelin; redoubt; lines, loophole, machicolation; barrage balloon, radar screen, civil defense, DEW (distant early warning) line, EBS (emergency broadcast system).
3. (defensive building) hold, stronghold, fastness; sanctuary, refuge (see safety); keep, dungeon, fortress, citadel, castle; tower, tower of strength; fort, blockhouse; air-raid shelter.
4. (defensive clothing) armor, [chain] mail, coat of mail, lame, plate, surcoat; shield, buckler, aegis; gorget, ailette, brassard, pallette, epaulière, pauldron, vambrace, cubitiere, gauntlet, plastron, breastplate, cuirass, skirt of tasses, fauld, habergeon, mail, hauberk, kneepiece, poleyn, tuille, cuisse, greave, jambeau, lorication, backplate, footpiece, solleret; [steel] helmet, basinet, burgonet, heaume, siege cap, casque, sallet, tin hat, cask, shako, bearskin, beaver, visor; weapon (see arms).
5. (one who defends) defender, protector, guardian, guard, bodyguard, champion, knight [errant]; garrison, patrol, watch, national guard (see combatant); sentinel, sentry, lookout; keeper, watchman; watchdog. See safety.
Verbs — defend, go to bat for, stick up for, take up the cudgels for; forfend, fend off; shield, screen, fence round (see circumscription); entrench, dig in; guard (see safety); guard against; take care of, bear harmless; keep, ward, stave, fight, or beat off, parry; put to flight; hold or keep at bay, keep at arm's length; stand or set on the defensive; man the barricades, hold the fort; show fight; maintain or stand one's ground; stand by, hold a brief for; hold one's own, defend oneself; bear the brunt; fall back upon, hold. Slang, stonewall, cover one's ass.
1. defending, defensive; protective, preservative; self-protective, self-defensive.
2. fortified, armored, armed, armed at all points, armed to the teeth; embattled; panoplied, iron-plated, ironclad; loopholed, castellated, machiocolated, casemated; defended, invulnerable, impervious, proof (against).
3. defensible, protectable.
Adverbs — defensively; on the defense or defensive; in defense; at bay.
Phrases — attack is the best form of defense.
Antonyms, see attack.
(Roget's IV) n.
1. [An act or means of defending]
Syn. resistance, protection, safeguard, aegis, preservation, security, custody, guard, shield, barrier, bumper, buffer, stand, front, backing, advocacy, support, maintenance, guardianship, the defensive, precaution, antitoxin, inoculation, excusing, apologizing, explaining, justifying, exoneration, explanation; see also justification .
Ant. offense*, retaliation, aggression.
2. [A means or system for defending against an enemy]
Means or systems of military defense include: trench, Maginot line, Siegfried line, Hindenburg line, defense in depth, bulwark, palisade, dike, stockade, machine-gun nest, bastille, bastion, fortification, fort, breastworks, chemical and biological warfare, CBW, earthworks, bunker, foxhole, redoubt, barricade, garrison, blockhouse, picket, rampart, fence, wall, embankment, scarp, citadel, fortress, armor, antiaircraft, Antiballistic Missile System, ABM, distant early warning line, DEW, Strategic Defense Initiative, SDI, Star Wars*, camouflage, gas mask, shield, screen, helmet, barbed wire, stronghold, parapet, buttress, moat, fosse, counterattack, counterblow, rolling defense, tank trap, strong point, defense arc; see also armor 1 , fortification 2 , munitions , trench .
Ant. attack*, siege, blitzkrieg*.
3. [In law, the reply of the accused]
Syn. denial, plea, pleading, rejoinder, answer, reply, retort, writ of mandamus, right of habeas corpus, alibi, testimony, vindication, surrejoinder, counterclaim, rebuttal, argument, assertion, case; see also declaration 2 , proof 1 , statement 1 .
4. [An apology]
Syn. excuse, justification, argument; see explanation 2 , justification .
(Roget's 3 Superthesaurus) n.
1. protection guard, shield, fortification, shelter, screen, bulwark, stronghold, armament.
2. justification explanation, excuse, stand, argument, plea, story, apologia, support.
ANT.: 1. offense, aggression
(Roget's Thesaurus II) noun 1. The act or a means of defending: guard, preservation, protection, protector, safeguard, security, shield, ward. See ATTACK. 2. A statement that justifies or defends something, such as a past action or policy: apologetic, apologia, apology, justification, vindication. See ATTACK.

English dictionary for students. 2013.

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