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Defense vs. Defence: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Defense is the American English spelling of a word meaning protection or resistance against attack, while Defence is the British English spelling of the same word.
Defense vs. Defence

Key Differences

"Defense" is the spelling used in American English to describe the action of defending or protecting against something. "Defence," on the other hand, follows the British English convention, carrying the same meaning but with a different spelling.
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Nov 15, 2023
In legal contexts, "defense" refers to the case presented by the party accused of a crime in the United States. Conversely, "defence" is used in the same legal context within the UK and other Commonwealth countries.
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When discussing military matters, the American term "Department of Defense" refers to the federal agency responsible for national security. The British equivalent, "Ministry of Defence," signifies the same agency but adheres to British spelling.
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In sports, "defense" is used in American English to describe strategies or actions taken to prevent the opposing team from scoring. In British English, the same concept is referred to as "defence."
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Both "defense" and "defence" are used in scientific and technical contexts to mean the mechanism of protection or resistance, with the spelling depending on whether American or British English is used.
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Nov 15, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Spelling

Defense
Defence
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Legal Context

Defense attorney, defense case
Defence solicitor, defence case
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Military Organization

Department of Defense
Ministry of Defence
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Sports Terminology

Playing defense in basketball
Playing defence in football
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Scientific Context

Biological defense mechanisms
Biological defence mechanisms
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Defense and Defence Definitions

Defense

Protection
The castle's defense was impenetrable.
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Defence

Sporting Tactic
The team's defence strategy was effective.
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Defense

Legal Argument
The defense presented a compelling case in court.
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Defence

National Security
The Ministry of Defence issued a statement.
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Defense

Military Action
The defense against the invasion was successful.
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Defence

Variant of defense.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

Psychological Term
Defense mechanisms help cope with stress.
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Defence

The action of defending, of protecting from attack, danger or injury.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

The act of defending against attack, danger, or injury.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defence

Something used to oppose attacks.
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Defense

A means or method of defending or protecting.
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Defence

An argument in support or justification of something.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

(Sports) The act or an instance of defending a championship against a challenger
Will box in his third defense of his title.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defence

A strategy and tactics employed to prevent the other team from scoring; contrasted with offence.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

An argument in support or justification of something.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defence

The portion of a team dedicated to preventing the other team from scoring; contrasted with offence.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

The act of defending a case.
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Defence

Government policy or (infra)structure related to the military.
Department of Defence
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Defense

A fact or law that provides a full or partial exoneration of the defendant against the charges or claims made in a lawsuit or prosecution.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defence

(obsolete) Prohibition; a prohibitory ordinance.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

The defendant and the defendant's legal counsel.
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Defence

To furnish with defences; to fortify.
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Defense

The science or art of defending oneself; self-defense.
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Defence

See Defense.
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Defense

The means or tactics used in trying to stop the opposition from scoring.
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Defence

(psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
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Defense

The team or those players on the team attempting to stop the opposition from scoring.
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Defence

(sports) the team that is trying to prevent the other team from scoring;
His teams are always good on defense
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Defense

Defending ability or potential.
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Defence

The defendant and his legal advisors collectively;
The defense called for a mistrial
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Defense

The provision of personnel and resources for military purposes
Proposed spending more on defense.
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Defence

An organization of defenders that provides resistance against attack;
He joined the defense against invasion
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

To attempt to stop (the opposition) from scoring.
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Defence

The speech act of answering an attack on your assertions;
His refutation of the charges was short and persuasive
In defense he said the other man started it
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

To play defense against (an opponent or play).
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Defence

The justification for some act or belief;
He offered a persuasive defense of the theory
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

The action of defending or protecting from attack, danger, or injury.
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Defence

A structure used for defense;
The artillery battered down the defenses
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Defense

Anything employed to oppose attack(s).
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Defence

A defendant's answer or plea denying the truth of the charges against him;
He gave evidence for the defense
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Defense

A strategy and tactics employed to prevent the other team from scoring; contrasted with offense.
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Defence

Military action or resources protecting a country against potential enemies;
They died in the defense of Stalingrad
They were developed for the defense program
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Defense

The portion of a team dedicated to preventing the other team from scoring; contrasted with offense.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defence

Protection from harm;
Sanitation is the best defense against disease
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Defense

An argument in support or justification of something.
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Defence

Resistance
The city's defence held against the siege.
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Defense

The case presented by the defendant in a legal proceeding.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defence

Legal Position
Her defence argued for innocence.
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Defense

The lawyer or team thereof who presents such a case.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defence

Biological Response
Plants have natural defence systems.
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Defense

Government policy or (infra)structure related to the military.
Department of Defense
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

(obsolete) A prohibition; a prohibitory ordinance.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

The act of defending, or the state of being defended; protection, as from violence or danger.
In cases of defense 't is best to weighThe enemy more mighty than he seems.
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Defense

That which defends or protects; anything employed to oppose attack, ward off violence or danger, or maintain security; a guard; a protection.
War would arise in defense of the right.
God, the widow's champion and defense.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

Protecting plea; vindication; justification.
Men, brethren, and fathers, hear ye my defense.
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Defense

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.
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Defense

Act or skill in making defense; defensive plan or policy; practice in self defense, as in fencing, boxing, etc.
A man of great defense.
By how much defense is better than no skill.
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Defense

Prohibition; a prohibitory ordinance.
Severe defenses . . . against wearing any linen under a certain breadth.
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

To furnish with defenses; to fortify.
Better manned and more strongly defensed.
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Defense

(sports) the team that is trying to prevent the other team from scoring;
His teams are always good on defense
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Defense

Military action or resources protecting a country against potential enemies;
They died in the defense of Stalingrad
They were developed for the defense program
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Defense

The defendant and his legal advisors collectively;
The defense called for a mistrial
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Defense

Protection from harm;
Sanitation is the best defense against disease
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Defense

A structure used for defense;
The artillery battered down the defenses
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

The speech act of answering an attack on your assertions;
His refutation of the charges was short and persuasive
In defense he said the other man started it
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

The justification for some act or belief;
He offered a persuasive defense of the theory
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

A defendant's answer or plea denying the truth of the charges against him;
He gave evidence for the defense
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Shumaila Saeed
Oct 19, 2023

Defense

An organization of defenders that provides resistance against attack;
He joined the defense against invasion
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

The federal department responsible for safeguarding national security of the UnitedStates; created in 1947
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Oct 19, 2023

Defense

(psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
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Defense

Sport Strategy
Their team's defense was exceptionally strong.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

What is the main difference between defense and defence?

"defense" is American English, while "defence" is British English.
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Can defense and defence be used interchangeably?

They can be used interchangeably in meaning but should match the variant of English being used.
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Nov 15, 2023

Do defense and defence have the same pronunciation?

Yes, both words are pronounced the same way.
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Nov 15, 2023

What does defense/defence mean in sports?

It refers to the strategies or players focused on preventing the opposing team from scoring.
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How is defense/defence used in a military context?

It refers to strategies and actions taken to protect a country from external threats.
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What does the Department of Defense/Ministry of Defence do?

They are government departments responsible for implementing military policies.
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In legal terms, what does defense/defence mean?

It refers to the argument or case presented by or on behalf of the party being accused or sued.
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Nov 15, 2023

Can defense/defence refer to physical structures?

Yes, it can refer to structures like walls or fortifications built for protection.
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Nov 15, 2023

Which English-speaking countries primarily use "defense"?

The United States and others that follow American English conventions.
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Nov 15, 2023

How is defense/defence used in a political context?

It's used to discuss policies or actions related to national security.
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Nov 15, 2023

How should I choose between defense and defence in writing?

Choose based on whether you are using American or British English standards.
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Nov 15, 2023

Is defense/defence used in psychology?

Yes, in psychology, it refers to mechanisms used by individuals to cope with reality and maintain self-image.
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Nov 15, 2023

Which countries use the spelling "defence"?

The UK, Canada, Australia, and other countries following British English conventions.
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Nov 15, 2023

Does defense/defence have the same legal connotations in all English-speaking countries?

Yes, the legal connotations are the same, though the spelling differs.
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Are there idioms that use defense/defence?

Yes, phrases like "the best defense is a good offense" use the concept.
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In literature, how is defense/defence used?

It can be used metaphorically to represent a character's protective actions or stances.
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Nov 15, 2023

Is defense/defence ever used in a non-physical sense?

Yes, it can refer to arguments or positions in debates or discussions.
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Is defense/defence used in biology?

In biology, it refers to mechanisms by which organisms protect themselves from predators or disease.
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Nov 15, 2023

In computing, what does defense/defence mean?

It refers to measures taken to protect against cyber threats.
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Nov 15, 2023

Can defense/defence have a psychological meaning?

Yes, it can refer to an individual's unconscious protective measures against psychological harm.
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Nov 15, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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