de·fen·dant /di-'fen-dənt, -ˌdant/ n: the party against whom a criminal or civil action is brought see also answer, codefendant compare accused, plaintiff

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

I noun the accused, accused litigant, accused party, charged party, party against whom a complaint is lodged, party against whom charges are pending, party who is sued, respondent associated concepts: codefendant, defendant's rights, indispensable party defendant, necessary party defendant, nominal defendant, party defendant, principal defendant, proper party defendant, third party defendants foreign phrases:
- Favorabiliores rei potius quam actores habentur. — The condition of the defendant is to be favored rather than that of the plaintiff
- Reus excipiendo fit actor. — The defendant by his pleading may make himself a plaintiff
- Melior est conditio possidentis, et rei quam actoris. — The condition of the possessor and that of the defendant is better than that of the plaintiff
- Habemus optimum testem, confitentem reum. — We have the best witness, a confessing defendant
- Melior est conditio defendentis. — The position of the defendant is the better one
II index convict, litigant, party (litigant), respondent

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

The party against whom a lawsuit is brought; in civil cases, the party who responds to the complaint; in criminal cases, the person against whom charges are brought.

The Essential Law Dictionary. — Sphinx Publishing, An imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. . 2008.

The person against whom a lawsuit is filed. In some types of cases (such as divorce) a defendant may be called a respondent.
Category: Accidents & Injuries
Category: Criminal Law
Category: DUI / DWI
Category: DUI / DWI & Traffic Tickets
Category: Representing Yourself in Court
Category: Small Claims Court
Category: Small Claims Court & Lawsuits
Category: Traffic Tickets

Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary. . 2009.

The person who defends the court action.

Practical Law Dictionary. Glossary of UK, US and international legal terms. . 2010.

n. In a criminal trial, the accused; in a civil proceeding, the person or entity against whom a claim is made.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

The person defending or denying; the party against whom relief or recovery is sought in an action or suit, or the accused in a criminal case.

Dictionary from West's Encyclopedia of American Law. 2005.

The person defending or denying; the party against whom relief or recovery is sought in an action or suit, or the accused in a criminal case.
II The person defending or denying a suit.

Short Dictionary of (mostly American) Legal Terms and Abbreviations.

   1) the party sued in a civil lawsuit or the party charged with a crime in a criminal prosecution.
   2) In some types of cases (such as divorce) a defendant may be called a respondent.
   See also: codefendant, plaintiff

Law dictionary. . 2013.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • defendant — de‧fen‧dant [dɪˈfendənt] noun [countable] LAW the person or organization in a court of law that has been accused of doing something illegal: • The defendant was convicted and sentenced to 7 years in state prison. * * * defendant UK US… …   Financial and business terms

  • Defendant — De*fend ant (d[ e]*f[e^]nd ant), a. [F. d[ e]fendant, p. pr. of d[ e]fendre. See {Defend}.] 1. Serving, or suitable, for defense; defensive. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] With men of courage and with means defendant. Shak. [1913 Webster] 2. Making… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • defendant — (n.) c.1400, in the legal sense, from Fr. défendant, prp. of défendre (see DEFEND (Cf. defend)). Earliest use in English was as a prp. adj. meaning defending (c.1300) …   Etymology dictionary

  • defendant — [dē fen′dənt, difen′dənt; dē fen′dant΄, di fen′dant΄] adj. [ME defendaunt < OFr defendant, prp. of defendre] defending n. Law the defending party; person sued or accused: opposed to PLAINTIFF …   English World dictionary

  • Defendant — De*fend ant, n. 1. One who defends; a defender. [1913 Webster] The rampiers and ditches which the defendants had cast up. Spotswood. [1913 Webster] 2. (Law) A person required to make answer in an action or suit; opposed to plaintiff. Abbott.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • defendant — An individual (or business) against whom a lawsuit is filed. ( United Glossary of Bankruptcy Terms 2012 …   Glossary of Bankruptcy

  • defendant — [n] accused appellant, litigant, offender, prisoner, suspect; concept 412 …   New thesaurus

  • defendant — ► NOUN ▪ a person sued or accused in a court of law. Compare with PLAINTIFF(Cf. ↑plaintiff) …   English terms dictionary

  • defendant — noun ADJECTIVE ▪ criminal ▪ convicted, guilty VERB + DEFENDANT ▪ accuse, charge ▪ The defendant was charged with disturbing the p …   Collocations dictionary

  • Defendant — A defendant or defender (Δ in legal shorthand) is any party who is required to answer the complaint of a plaintiff or pursuer in a civil lawsuit before a court, or any party who has been formally charged or accused of violating a criminal statute …   Wikipedia

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