defendant Definition

  • 1a person, company, etc. who is accused of committing a crime in a court of law
  • 2a person or group against whom a claim or charge is brought in a court of law

Using defendant: Examples

Take a moment to familiarize yourself with how "defendant" can be used in various situations through the following examples!

  • Example

    The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.

  • Example

    The defendant was found guilty and sentenced to life imprisonment.

  • Example

    The company was named as a defendant in the lawsuit.

defendant Synonyms and Antonyms

Antonyms for defendant

Phrases with defendant

  • co-defendant

    a person who is jointly accused of a crime with another person


    The two co-defendants were found guilty of the robbery.

  • defendant's counsel

    the lawyer or lawyers representing the defendant in a court of law


    The defendant's counsel argued that there was insufficient evidence to convict their client.

  • defendant's rights

    the legal rights of a person accused of a crime, including the right to a fair trial and the right to remain silent


    The judge reminded the jury that the defendant's rights must be respected throughout the trial.

Origins of defendant

from Old French 'defendant', present participle of 'defendre', meaning 'to defend'


Summary: defendant in Brief

A 'defendant' [dɪˈfendənt] is a person or entity accused of a crime or against whom a claim or charge is brought in a court of law. It is often used in legal contexts, such as 'The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.' 'Defendant' has synonyms like 'accused' and 'offender,' and extends to phrases like 'co-defendant' and 'defendant's counsel.'

How do native speakers use this expression?