"defends" in the verb sense
1. defend, support, fend for
argue or speak in defense of
"She supported the motion to strike"
be on the defensive act against an attack
3. defend, guard, hold
protect against a challenge or attack
"Hold that position behind the trees!"
"Hold the bridge against the enemy's attacks"
4. fight, oppose, fight back, fight down, defend
fight against or resist strongly
"The senator said he would oppose the bill"
"Don't fight it!"
5. champion, defend
protect or fight for as a champion
6. defend, represent
be the defense counsel for someone in a trial
"Ms. Smith will represent the defendant"
7. maintain, defend
state or assert
"He maintained his innocence"
Source: WordNet® (An amazing lexical database of English)
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