defence collocations and examples

 UK /dɪˈfens/

Explore meanings in the Dictionary

actions or structures designed to protect someone or something from attack

Adjectives frequently used with defence
consisting of structures: coast, coastal, flood, makeshift, natural, seaWe need to improve our flood and coastal defences.consisting of weapons: air, anti-aircraft, ballistic, missileWould the government allow the US to use UK bases for missile defence?strong: effective, strongOur national security depended on effective missile defences.weak: inadequate, poor, weakWith poor sea defences, some parts of the region are vulnerable to coastal erosion.
Verbs frequently used with defence
come to someone’s defence: come to, rush toThe members of NATO committed themselves to come to each other’s defence in the event of an attack against any one of a defence: act as, be, provideFortified walls and watchtowers provide defences against a defence: build, construct, erectIf defences are built in one place, they may increase flood risks elsewhere.Should the US abandon its plans to build a missile defence?improve a defence: bolster, improve, reinforce, strengthenWe propose to strengthen our defences against unfair trade practices.weaken a defence: weakenThe Abbey was bombed in 1944, in an effort to weaken the German defences.break through a defence: breach, break through, penetrate, pierceHackers are managing to breach the defences of large companies’ computer systems.
Nouns frequently used after defence
spending: budget, costs, cuts, expenditure, spendingOverall, defence spending in the EU is still falling.policies or plans: pact, policy, programme, scheme, strategyDefence policy requires the provision of forces with a high degree of military effectiveness.abilities: capabilityHe believes European nations need to increase their defence capabilities.companies: company, contractor, industry, sectorThe defence industry is becoming more global.

support for a person or idea that is being criticized

Adjectives frequently used with defence
robust, spirited, staunch, stout, strong, vigorousHe put up a spirited defence of his views.

Usage note

Defence is usually singular in these combinations: The Minister responded with a strong defence of the government’s policy.A vigorous defence of the theory of state capitalism.

Verbs frequently used with defence
argue in, come to, jump to, leap to, mount, put up, rush to, say something in, speak inThe manager leapt to the defence of his players, blaming the defeat on a couple of basic errors.Despite widespread opposition, he mounted a robust defence of his environmental policies.
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