Etymology
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vindication (n.)

late 15c., "act of avenging, revenge," from Old French vindicacion "vengeance, revenge" and directly from Latin vindicationem (nominative vindicatio) "act of claiming or avenging," noun of action from past participle stem of vindicare "lay claim to, assert; claim for freedom, set free; protect, defend; avenge" (related to vindicta "revenge"), probably from vim dicare "to show authority," from vim, accusative of vis "force" (see vim) + dicare "to proclaim" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly," and see diction). Meaning "justification by proof, defense against censure" is attested from 1640s.

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champion (n.)

early 13c., "doughty fighting man, valorous combatant," also (c. 1300) "one who fights on behalf of another or others, one who undertakes to defend a cause," from Old French champion "combatant, champion in single combat" (12c.), from Late Latin campionem (nominative campio) "gladiator, fighter, combatant in the field," from Latin campus "field (of combat);" see campus.

The word had been borrowed earlier by Old English as cempa. Sports sense in reference to "first-place performer, one who has demonstrated superiority to all others in some matter decided by public contest or competition" is recorded from 1730.

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beware (v.)

"be on one's guard," c. 1200, probably a contraction of be ware "be wary, be careful," from Middle English ware (adj.), from Old English wær "prudent, aware, alert, wary," from Proto-Germanic *waraz, from PIE root *wer- (3) "perceive, watch out for." Old English had the compound bewarian "to defend," which perhaps contributed to the word. Compare begone.

Like be gone, now begone, be ware came to be written as one word, beware, and then was classed by some authors with the numerous verbs in be-, and inflected accordingly; hence the erroneous forms bewares in Ben Jonson, and bewared in Dryden. [Century Dictionary]
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skirmish (n.)
late 14c., from Old French escarmouche "skirmish," from Italian scaramuccia, earlier schermugio, probably from a Germanic source (compare Old High German skirmen "to protect, defend"), with a diminutive or depreciatory suffix, from Proto-Germanic *skerm-, from PIE root *sker- (1) "to cut."

Influenced in Middle English by a separate verb skirmysshen "to brandish a weapon," from Old French eskirmiss-, stem of eskirmir "to fence," from Frankish *skirmjan, from the same Germanic source. Compare scrimmage. Other modern Germanic forms have an additional diminutive affix: German scharmützel, Dutch schermutseling, Danish skjærmydsel. Skirmish-line attested by 1864.
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warren (n.)

late 14c., "piece of land enclosed for breeding beasts and fowls," from Anglo-French and Old North French warenne (Old French garenne) "game park, hunting reserve," possibly from Gaulish *varenna "enclosed area," related to *varros "post." More likely from the present participle of Old North French warir (Old French garir) "defend, keep," from Proto-Germanic *war- "to protect, guard," from PIE root *wer- (4) "to cover." Later especially "piece of land for breeding of rabbits" (c. 1400), which led to the transferred sense of "cluster of densely populated living spaces" (1640s).

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maim (v.)

c. 1300, maimen, "disable by wounding or mutilation, injure seriously, damage, destroy, castrate," from Old French mahaignier "to injure, wound, muitilate, cripple, disarm," a word of uncertain origin, possibly from Vulgar Latin *mahanare (source also of Provençal mayanhar, Italian magagnare), of unknown origin; or possibly from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *mait- (source of Old Norse meiða "to hurt," related to mad (adj.)), or from PIE root *mai- (1) "to cut."

In old law, "to deprive of the use of a limb, so as to render one less able to defend or attack in fighting." Related: Maimed; maiming. It also is used as a noun, "injury causing loss of a limb, mutilation" (late 14c.), in which it is a doublet of mayhem.

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co-defendant (n.)

also codefendant, "one who is a defendant along with another," 1640s, from co- + defendant.

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stand-up (adj.)
1811, "courageous," originally of fist fights, denoting a manful contest without fake falls, from the verbal phrase (early 12c. in sense "rise to one's feet"), from stand (v.) + up (adv.). To stand up "hold oneself against an opponent" is from c. 1600; as stand up to in the same sense from 1620s. To stand up for "defend the cause of" is from c. 1600. To stand (someone) up "fail to keep an appointment" is attested from 1902. Stand-up comic first attested 1966. Catch-phrase will the real _______ please stand up? is from the popular CBS game show "To Tell the Truth," which debuted in 1956.
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garrison (n.)

c. 1300, "store, treasure," from Old French garison "defense, protection, safety, security; crops, food; salvation; healing, recovery, cure" (Modern French guérison "cure, recovery, healing") from garir "take care of, protect, defend," from a Germanic source, from Proto-Germanic *war- "to protect, guard," from PIE root *wer- (4) "to cover."

Meaning "fortified stronghold" is from early 15c.; that of "body of troops in a fortress" is from mid-15c., a sense taken over from Middle English garnison "body of armed men stationed in a fort or town to guard it" (late 14c.), from Old French garnison "provision, munitions," from garnir "to furnish, provide" (see garnish (v.)).

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protect (v.)

"cover or shield from danger, harm, damage, exposure, trespass, temptation, insult, etc.," early 15c., protecten, from Latin protectus, past participle of protegere "to protect, defend, cover over, cover in front" (source also of French protéger, Old French protecter, Spanish proteger). This is from pro "before" (from PIE root *per- (1) "forward," hence "in front of, before") + tegere "to cover" (from PIE root *(s)teg- "to cover").

Applied with a wide range, both literal and figurative. The sense in political economy, "guard or strengthen against foreign competition by means of tariffs, etc.," is by 1789. Related: Protected; protecting.

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