Defence vs. defense – which form is correct?

Defence vs. defense. Which one is correct? There are many pairs of words in English that differ only in one letter and each case is always very tricky. If you are worried that you are likely to make a mistake, reading this article will be the best defence against these two confusing spellings… or is it defense?

defence vs defense? Which form is correct meaning definition correct form difference examples

Defence vs. defense – which form is correct?

The answer is that both words are correct! Moreover, the meaning, pronunciation and function of defence and defense are exactly the same. There is only one detail separating these two spellings and the below section will reveal it to you.

Defence vs. defense – what is the difference?

The difference between defence vs. defense is not much of a difference at all, as it is entirely dialectal. Defense is more common in American English, whereas defence is the preferred spelling in British and all the other variants of English. It is as simple as that!

However, it is worth mentioning here that this spelling distinction does not extend to all forms of defence/defense. You have defences/defenses and defenceless/defenseless, but the words defensive, defensiveness, and defensively always have an s everywhere.

Check out the following section to make sure you are familiar with all definitions of defence/defense.

What is the meaning of defence/defense?

Defence/defense is basically the act of protecting somebody/something from attack, criticism, etc.

  • He angrily came to his friend’s defence.

See below other definitions of defence with the examples:

1 something that provides protection against attack from enemies or against something dangerous

  • Eating healthy helps build the body’s natural defences.

2the organization of the people and systems that are used by a government to protect a country from attack

  • the Ministry of Defence

3an argument or explanation that you use to prove that you are not guilty of something

  • According to the judge, insanity was not a valid defence.

Defence vs. defense? More examples from the literature and press

The shark held on to his paw, its only line of defence and attack, and thrashed its tail.

Yann Martel, Life of Pi

Others say the administration’s defense is somewhere between “sloppy” and “dubious.”

“New York Times”, Sep 2, 2022

Written by

After graduating with a MA in English Philology, Kasia lived for almost five years in the UK facing the challenge of trying to master the intricacies of English language, which is her consuming passion. Other things she enjoys doing in her spare time are singing in a local parish band, embroidery, reading, cycling, and enjoying the outdoors with her family and friends.