One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
Defending. Now chiefly Sport: the action of attempting to stop an opponent or opponents from scoring or otherwise gaining an advantage; defensive play.
1Defending. Now somewhat rare.
2Sport (chiefly US). That employs (chiefly) defensive tactics; of the nature of or characterized by defence. Also (now chiefly): (of a person or team) competing to retain a trophy, championship, etc.
Mid 16th century; earliest use found in John Rastell. From defence + -ing<br>late 16th century; earliest use found in Brian Melbancke (d. 1600), writer. Partly from defence + -ing.
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