Defense vs. Defence


Senior Member
Is that just a "British vs. American" difference? I'm interested in the meaning of dissertation defense. What do you think of using "defence" in this case?

  • Novanas

    Senior Member
    English AE/Ireland
    I don't know of any difference myself between "defense" and "defence", except, as you say, the one is AE and the other BE.


    Senior Member
    Portuguese - Brazil
    The difference is really American English / British English, as well as some other examples:
    <<Strange abbreviations and off topic examples deleted>>

    among others.

    In terms of meaning, they're the same.

    Last edited by a moderator:


    Senior Member
    English UK
    I was puzzled by the term "dissertation defense" until I found the following in Wiki
    One of the requirements for certain advanced degrees is often an oral examination. This examination normally occurs after the dissertation is finished but before it is submitted to the university, and may comprise a presentation by the student and questions posed by an examining committee or jury. In North America, this examination is known as a thesis or dissertation defense, while in the UK and other English-speaking countries it is called a viva voce.
    So, looking back at Andrey's question, it would seem that:
    - dissertation defense is AmE
    - dissertation defence is CanE (see калина's post 4 above)
    - for other varieties of English you'd choose a different term altogether:)
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