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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

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

the best defense is a good offense

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

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 ?
And behind the curtain we know the bigots really want zero-round magazines but are afraid to say it, because defenselessness is a non-starter.
44) It gives them a sense of power and control over their bodies and sexual activities, so that they can distance themselves from the defenselessness and trauma in childhood.
Mehsandre's position as a widow with two unruly children, her defenselessness despite her wealth, helps to revive the knight in Stevens, for, as Queen of Jefferson, she retains the power to confer knighthood.
The lack of appropriate and effective systems for implementing specialized protection measures are related to the situation of defenselessness in which many human rights defenders find themselves, which has caused the death of many of them in recent years," stressed Santiago A.
Students wore empty holsters to - as the organization explained in a Tuesday news release citing the Oakland tragedy - "illustrate their defenselessness at the hands of college gun bans.
It shares with Daniel the strong commitment to faithfulness in the face of foreign pressure to compromise, but the latter advocates a defenselessness that can at times be a creative accommodation (cf.
An aura of crushing defenselessness, defeat and desperation radiates from Dunst's face.
If we had to delimit the face, Levinas, says, we would have to say that the face is nakedness itself, defenselessness itself, utter vulnerability, a "passivity more passive than the opposite of active.
In "Hagia Sophia" Merton describes his emergent awareness of the sophianic presence of God following his feeling of defenselessness upon awakening in a Louisville hospital.
Speaking to children and youngsters financed by the Imam Khomeini Relief Committee in a Ramadan breakfast (Iftar) on Sunday evening, Larijani said the situation of Palestinian children and youngsters who are suffering in the Zionist regime's prisons well indicate their innocence and defenselessness.
Next come the 15-letter defenselessness, in which the single vowel E occurs five times, and the 13-letter senselessness, with four E's.
Pawly's juxtaposition of Arabella's defenselessness in her encounters with the rake Sir George with Don Quixote's difficulties in his dealings with the Duke and Duchess demonstrates the troublesome nature of duplicity that arises in such complex narratives when "the Quixote's privilege of creating his or her own visions" is usurped by characters who do not share the affective sentiments of the Quixote's worldview (170).
On the other hand, freshwater drum (sheepshead) make a poor snack, despite the drum's fine white flesh and relative defenselessness.
With the realization of their utter defenselessness against the aggression from Europeans in Africa, the blacks felt it necessary to look to themselves.
Rabbi Loew's incantations brought to life the Golem of Prague's ghetto, a mythical image that reflects a mind conditioned by massive oppression and defenselessness, a need to believe that there could be a way to protect the innocent against the terror that encircled them in their ghetto.