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From Biology-Online Dictionary | Biology-Online Dictionary
1. One who defends; a defender. The rampiers and ditches which the defendants had cast up. (Spotswood)
2. A person required to make answer in an action or suit; opposed to plaintiff.
The term is applied to any party of whom a demand is made in court, whether the party denies and defends the claim, or admits it, and suffers a default; also to a party charged with a criminal offense.