What does the word defence mean?

Usage examples for defence

  1. I think that Kari grew perplexed at this patient defence of mine, and never a blow struck back. – The Virgin of the Sun by H. R. Haggard
  2. Edmund and his party had taken no part in the defence of the tower. – The Dragon and the Raven or, The Days of King Alfred by G. A. Henty
  3. It is the natural defence of Khartum on the north. – The Development of the European Nations, 1870-1914 (5th ed.) by John Holland Rose