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Nuremberg defense

A plea or legal defense strategy in which the defendant claims that his or her actions were solely the result of carrying out the orders of superiors and that, as such, he or she should not be found guilty of such actions. Refers to the use of such a defense by political and military leaders of defeated Nazi Germany in the Nuremberg Trials of 1945–46. Against the charge of unlawful murder during wartime, the staff sergeant's defense attorney put forward a Nuremberg defense, claiming that the killings were carried out under direct orders by superior officers.
See also: defense

attack is the best form of defense

Launching an offensive is the best way to protect oneself. I need to start some rumors about Dean, before he comes after me. I know it sounds harsh, but attack is the best form of defense!
See also: attack, defense, form, of

best defense is a good offense

Prov. If you attack your opponents, they will be so busy fighting off your attack that they will not be able to attack you. (Often associated with sports. Often pronounced with the accent on the first syllable, similar to offense.) The team mostly practiced offensive moves because the coach believed that the best defense is a good offense. Jim thought that the best defense is a good offense, so he always tried to pass other drivers before they could pass him.
See also: defense, good, offense

spring to someone's defense

Fig. to go quickly to defend someone. (Can be against physical or verbal attack.) Fred was attacked and Ralph sprang to his defense. We sprang to Mary's defense when she was accused of doing wrong.
See also: defense, spring
References in periodicals archive ?
Box 3: Poverty and Vulnerability Vulnerability reflects the dynamic nature of poverty, referring as it does to defenselessness, insecurity and exposure to risk.
Vulnerability is a function of external risks, shocks and stress, and of internal defenselessness.
This calls for a kind of detachment, a sort of defenselessness, that allows us to travel lightly.
Moreover, Shakespeare would in some measure share Will Peter's defenselessness.
According to Mujeres de Mexico, women in the occupied territory say they find themselves in a state of total defenselessness, and charge that more and more young people are being forced into prostitution by federal army soldiers.
As it turns out, the leading of the lamb to slaughter had started back in Angela's childhood, when, in a dysfunctional family par excellence, the stepfather had preyed on the innocence and defenselessness of his two young stepdaughters.
Nor do we lack American examples of how popular defenselessness and a state monopoly of force can threaten freedom and indeed life itself.
With repetition, what passes at first for a lover's hyperbole or jeu d'esprit comes more and more to connote anxiety and, in poems that glance at the beloved's unfaithfulness or unworthiness, a pathetic defenselessness against the tendency toward narcissistic identification with him.
New Brady poster boy Colin Goddard, who was helpless during the Virginia Tech murders and now endorses laws to impose defenselessness on the rest of us, expressed outrage.
5 million human beings, mostly refugees or children of refugees, to eternal defenselessness in a region where genocidal designs are not uncommon.
These little dances convey the inner fiery sentiments of the characters at times, while also attempting to capture the vast, diverse emotional reaction the viewers could experience that ranges from joy, love and longing to sarcasm, disgust, despair and defenselessness.
The helmets evoke the defenselessness of the prisoners at Guantanamo and the physical and psychological attacks they suffer.
odds," "horrible death," and "despairing fight"--encourages her audience to participate affectively in African American women's experience of defenselessness.
On the cross, in the finite human flesh of Jesus, God experiences vulnerability and defenselessness.