Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of defendant
Meaning of defendant by Wiktionary Dictionary


    Alternative forms


    From defend +‎ -ant


    • IPA: /dɪˈfɛndənt/


    defendant ( plural: defendants )

    1. ( law ) In civil proceedings, the party responding to the complaint; one who is sued and called upon to make satisfaction for a wrong complained of by another .
    2. ( law ) In criminal proceedings, the accused .

    Related terms

Explanation of defendant by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. a person or institution against whom an action is brought in a court of law

    Definition of defendant by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Defendant ( defĕndant ), a. [F. défendant, p. pr. of défendre. See Defend.]
      1. Serving, or suitable, for defense; defensive. [Obs.]

      With men of courage and with means defendant. Shak.

      2. Making defense.

    2. Defendant, n.
      1. One who defends; a defender.

      The rampiers and ditches which the defendants had cast up. Spotswood.

      2. ( Law ) A person required to make answer in an action or suit; -- opposed to plaintiff. Abbott.

      ☞ The term is applied to any party of whom a demand is made in court, whether the party denies and defends the claim, or admits it, and suffers a default; also to a party charged with a criminal offense.

    3. Libellee n. ( Law ) The party against whom a libel has been filed; -- corresponding to defendant in a common law action. The defendant in an action of libel.