defense

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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

leap to (one's) defense

To begin defending one very quickly or abruptly. I appreciate the thought, but I don't need you leaping to my defense every time someone starts arguing with me. Thankfully, a group of people in the bar leaped to her defense when the man started assaulting her. The boss singled out Jonathan when he started criticizing the progress of the project, so I leaped to his defense.
See also: defense, leap

Nuremberg defense

A plea or legal defense strategy in which the defendant claims that their actions were solely the result of carrying out the orders of superiors and that, as such, they 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

spring to (one's) defense

To begin defending one very quickly or abruptly. I appreciate the thought, but I don't need you springing to my defense every time someone starts arguing with me. Thankfully, a group of people in the bar sprang to her defense when the man started assaulting her. The boss singled out Jonathan when he started criticizing the progress of the project, so I sprang to his defense.
See also: defense, spring

the best defense is a good offense

proverb Proactively attacking one's opponents or enemies is the best way to protect oneself, since they will be occupied with defending themselves, rather than attacking. They have a lot of scoring power, so we need to attack the goal early and wear them out. The best defense is a good offense, girls.
See also: defense, good, offense

the noble art (of self-defense)

The sport of boxing. Any two yahoos can get into a fistfight, but it takes real skill, dedication, and training to learn the noble art of self-defense. He spent most of his career training in the noble art before joining the world of mixed martial arts last year.
See also: art, noble
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

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
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

last-ditch defense/effort

A desperate final measure. In military terminology of the seventeenth century the “last ditch” was the ultimate line of defense. By the eighteenth century the term was being used figuratively, as in Thomas Jefferson’s description, “A government driven to the last ditch by the universal call for liberty.”
See also: defense, effort
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
Pearson describes Rights of the Defenseless as an investigation into "the connection between--and consequences of--animal and child protection" in Gilded Age America (p.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Chairman of Iran's Expediency Council Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani voiced concern about Israel's recent savage attacks on the defenseless Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, and said the Zionists and terrorists are committing the most horrible crimes against humanity.
One would think that this would cause even the editors at the very leftist Toronto Star to realize that crime is caused by criminals, not guns, and that keeping people defenseless against crime is a crime in itself.
Even before America's gulf wars, John Paul II had broadened his critique of state-sanctioned violence, calling for the end of U.S.-backed economic sanctions against Iraq and Cuba when it became clear that the suffering engendered by those policies was falling primarily on the innocent and defenseless. In his consistent promotion of a culture of life, John Paul naturally called American presidents to account for abortion, but he also cast an increasingly skeptical eye on the peculiar institution of the U.S.
A witness is shot and Stephanie receives veiled threats that say, "How does it feel to be the hunted?" Steph is not defenseless: she is aided by co-worker Lula and a bounty hunter named Ranger.
Isn't the child so cute, holding that defenseless animal out of the water?
The lawsuit describes a racially based, dual system of law enforcement inherited from the prestatehood days of the territorial government, which intentionally maintained a separate system and standard of police protection for Native and white communities, rendering Native Villages defenseless to crime.
They seem fragile but also strong because they reveal themselves as defenseless with a deliberately icy seductiveness.
But the drugs' effectiveness wanes after a year or so, often leaving a patient defenseless against the disease's spread.
Helicopters are fine for certain specialized military purposes-medical evacuation, rescue, commando raids, antisubmarine patrols, and terrorizing defenseless peasants (Russian helicopters in Afghanistan have been employed mainly for terror attacks).
Talking to media outside the Parliament House, Khosa said its duty of the international community to talk with India to end state atrocities on defenseless Kashmiri people.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Palestinian Foreign Minister Riyad al-Maliki called on the world states to impose a global ban on the supply of military tools and weapons to the Zionist regime whose army is massacring the defenseless Palestinian people.
"Using defenseless pilgrims as a human shield runs counter to human rights principles," Mehmanparast said on Saturday, adding that the kidnappers and their allies are responsible for the safety of the Iranian abductees in Syria.
Let's say, recalling that defenseless child born in a West Bank manger and crucified because of his idealism, enough with the war-making.
cities disappearing into Iraqi-created mushroom clouds, or of unmanned Iraqi drones raining chemical or biological agents on defenseless Americans.