- Law. a person, company, etc., against whom a claim or charge is brought in a court (opposed to plaintiff).
- Obsolete. defender.
- a person against whom an action or claim is brought in a court of lawCompare plaintiff
- making a defence; defending
c.1400, in the legal sense, from French défendant, present participle of défendre (see defend). Earliest use in English was as a present participle adjective meaning “defending” (c.1300).
The party that is being sued in court. (Compare plaintiff.)