de·fend vt1: to drive danger or attack away fromusing a weapon to defend oneself2: to act as attorney for (a defendant)appointed to defend the accused3: to deny or oppose the rights of a plaintiff in regard to (a suit or claim)intend to defend the casevi1: to take action against attack or challengenot justified in striking first, but may defend2: to present a defensemay not thereafter defend on grounds of insanity — W. R. LaFave and A. W. Scott, Jr.
Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. Merriam-Webster. 1996.
advocate, allege in support, argue for, champion, espouse, guard, justify, maintain, plead for, plead one's cause, promote a cause, propound, protect, safeguard, shield, stand up for, support, sustain, uphold, urge reasons for
associated concepts: effectiveness of counsel, opportunity to defend
adhere (maintain loyalty), advocate, answer (reply), answer (respond legally), corroborate, countercharge, cover (guard), espouse, harbor, justify, lobby, maintain (sustain), palliate (excuse), preserve, protect, save (rescue), screen (guard), side, sponsor, support (assist), support (justify), sustain (confirm), uphold
Burton's Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006
v. In litigation, to oppose a claimant's case; to advance or protect one's own adverse interests. Also, as an attorney, to represent the defendant in a criminal case or civil proceeding.
Webster's New World Law Dictionary. Susan Ellis Wild. 2000.