Defence vs. Defense | Difference & Example Sentences
Defence and defense are two different spellings of the same word, a noun used to refer to the act of protecting or defending something, the legal plea of a person on trial for a crime, or a sports position intended to prevent an opponent from scoring.
The spelling tends to vary based on whether you’re writing in UK or US English:
- In UK English, “defence” (with a “c”) is standard.
- In US English, “defense” (with an “s”) is more common.
Defensive (with an “s”) is an adjective used to describe something as “intended for defence/defense.” It can also be used to describe someone who is likely to challenge criticism.
While the spelling distinction carries over to some related words like “defenceless”/“defenseless,” versions of defence/defense that have a suffix beginning with “i” are spelled with an “s” in both UK and US English (e.g., defensive, defensiveness, defensible). “Defencive” is never correct.
In my defense or in my defence
In my defence/defense is a phrase used to justify something you have done. It means the same whether written with an “s” or a “c.”
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If you want to know more about commonly confused words, definitions, and differences between US and UK spellings, make sure to check out some of our other language articles with explanations, examples, and quizzes.
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