defence de‧fence [dɪˈfens] , defense noun [countable]
1. LAW the things that are said in a court of law to try to prove that someone is not guilty of a crime:

• I am unhappy about the way my barrister is conducting my defence.

2. LAW the defence the lawyers in a court of law who try to prove that someone is not guilty of a crime:

• the chief witness for the defence

• The defense argued that the case should be dropped.

— compare prosecution
3. FINANCE actions taken by a company to prevent a takeover that it does not want
ˌcrown ˈjewels deˌfence FINANCE
when a company avoids being taken over by selling important assets cheaply to a supporter, so that the company is less attractive to buy, and then buying them back later when the takeover is no longer likely to happen
Pacman defense [ˈpækmæn dɪˌfens] AmE FINANCE
when one company tries to buy another in a takeover, but the second company buys the shares of the first, stopping it from happening:

• The airline executed a successful Pacman defense by acquiring its main competitor following a hostile bid.

* * *

defence UK US UK (US defense) /dɪˈfens/ noun
[S or U] LAW an argument or explanation which you use to prove that you are not guilty of something: »

Now he says he's done nothing wrong, and I assume that will be his defence in court.


a defense attorney/lawyer

the defence — Cf. the defence
Compare PROSECUTION(Cf. ↑prosecution)
[C] a method used by a company to avoid having another company take control of it: »

The chief executive led a vigorous takeover defence.


One possible defence strategy is to mount a higher counter-bid for the parent company.

See also CROWN JEWELS DEFENCE(Cf. ↑crown jewels defence), PACMAN DEFENCE(Cf. ↑Pacman defence)

Financial and business terms. 2012.

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