A reflexive verb is a verb that indicates that the subject performs an action on itself (e.g. Miguel se lava.).
reflexive verb
1. (to safeguard oneself)
a. to defend oneself
Me defenderé de cualquier acusación que hagan en mi contra.I will defend myself against any accusation made against me.
b. to protect oneself
Para defenderme de las críticas, he decidido dejar mi trabajo.To protect myself from criticism, I have decided to quit my job.
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
pronominal verb
2. (to manage)
a. to get by
Es una gran jugadora de ajedrez, pero también se defiende jugando al backgammon.She's a great chess player, but she gets by playing backgammon as well.
A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
transitive verb
3. (to provide protection)
a. to defend
Muchos soldados valientes se alistaron al ejército para defender su patria.Many brave soldiers enlisted in the army to defend their country.
b. to protect
Mintió para defender la reputación de su familia y evitar un escándalo.He lied to protect the reputation of his family and to avoid a scandal.
4. (to vindicate)
a. to defend
La actriz se aprovechó de su fama para defender su causa ante los medios de comunicación.The actress took advantage of her fame to defend her cause before the media.
b. to stand up for
Los trabajadores decidieron defender sus derechos y se pusieron en huelga.The workers decided to stand up for their rights and went on strike.
5. (to uphold)
a. to defend
Galileo defendió la teoría de Copérnico, pero, al final, se retractó para salvarse la vida.Galileo defended Copernicus's theory, but in the end he backed off to save his life.
b. to champion
Ella siempre ha defendido la igualdad de paga para las mujeres en el trabajo.She has always championed equal pay for women in the workplace.
6. (law)
a. to defend
El abogado defendió al acusado en el juicio, aunque sabía que era culpable.The lawyer defended the accused in the trial, even though he knew he was guilty.
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A transitive verb is a verb that requires a direct object (e.g. I bought a book.).
transitive verb
1. (país, reo)
a. to defend
2. (amigo)
a. to stand up for
defender los intereses de alguiento defend somebody's interests
defendió su teoría con sólidos argumentoshe supported his theory with sound arguments
3. (proteger; del frío, calor)
a. to protect
A pronominal verb always uses a reflexive pronoun. (e.g. Te ves cansado.).
pronominal verb
4. (protegerse)
a. to defend oneself
me defendí como pude de sus ataquesI defended myself from his attacks as best I could
5. (apañarse)
a. to get by
se defiende bien en su trabajohe's getting along okay at work
se defiende en ingléshe can get by in English
¿qué tal dibujas? — me defiendohow are you at drawing? — I'm not too bad
sé defenderme solaI can look after myself
transitive verb
(Mil) [+país, territorio, intereses] to defend
los soldados defendieron la frontera
[+causa, ideas] to defend; champion;
(Jur) to defend
defiende sus opiniones con buenos argumentos he defends his opinions with good arguments
defendió sus ideales hasta la muerte solo defienden los intereses de los ricos
el Real Madrid defiende el título de campeón Real Madrid are defending the championship title; Real Madrid are the defending champions
siempre defiende a sus hijos aunque no tengan razoXXXXn ¿por qué la defendiste a ella?
nos defendió de los atracadores he defended us against the muggers
estas gafas te protegen del sol o contra el sol para defenderlos de o contra el frío me defendió de las hirientes palabras de la crítica
defiendo la tesis doctoral el mes que viene I'm having a viva on o I'm defending my doctoral thesis next month; (EEUU)
pronominal verb
1 (protegerse)
defenderse de o contra [+calor, lluvia, sol] to protect o.s. from; [+agresor, ataque] to defend o.s. from o against
se defendió bien del ataque/agresor se defendieron del frío en una cabaña
se defendió del lobo con un palo he defended himself against the wolf with a stick
no supo defenderse de las críticas del periodista se defendieron del frío con una hoguera se defendió de los ataques de los periodistas
2 (desenvolverse) to get by
me defiendo en inglés I can get by o along in English; gana poco pero se defiende she doesn't earn much but she gets by; ya eres mayor, ya puedes defenderte solo you're old enough, you can get by o manage on your own now
—¿qué tal os va? —hombre, nos defendemos
—¿sabes algo de ordenadores? —me defiendo "do you know anything about computers?" — "I get by o I know a bit"; se defendió muy bien en la entrevista she performed very well in the interview
defenderse como un gato panza arriba to fight tooth and nail (to defend o.s.)
Collins Complete Spanish Electronic Dictionary © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
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