Difference Wiki

Fence vs. Defence: What's the Difference?

Edited by Harlon Moss || By Janet White || Updated on November 30, 2023
Fence refers to a barrier enclosing or bordering a field, yard, etc., usually made of posts and wire or wood. Defence is the action of defending from or resisting attack, or the means of doing so.

Key Differences

A fence is a physical structure that serves to enclose or divide a space, typically made of materials like wood, metal, or wire. Defence, in contrast, refers to the action or strategy of protecting oneself, an object, or a concept from harm or attack.
The primary function of a fence is to provide privacy, security, or to mark boundaries, often seen in residential or agricultural settings. Defence, however, encompasses a broader scope, including military, legal, or sports strategies used to guard against opposition.
Fences can be decorative or functional, varying in size and design based on their intended purpose. Defence, on the other hand, is more about tactics and actions taken to prevent harm or defeat, not limited to physical barriers.
The construction of a fence involves physical materials and is a tangible entity. In contrast, defence can be both physical and conceptual, like defending a philosophical idea or legal position.
A fence is a static object, while defence is a dynamic process or strategy, adapting to changing circumstances and threats.

Comparison Chart

Primary Function

Encloses or divides space
Protects or resists attack


Tangible structure
Both tangible and conceptual

Usage Context

Residential, agricultural, boundary
Military, legal, sports, strategy


Static and material
Dynamic and tactical

Purpose Variation

Privacy, security, decoration
Protection, resistance, strategy

Fence and Defence Definitions


In sports, fence means to practice the art of fencing.
She learned to fence at her school's fencing club.


Defence is the action of defending against attack.
The army was ready for the defence of the city.


A fence is a barrier constructed to enclose or separate areas.
They built a wooden fence around the garden to keep animals out.


In legal terms, defence refers to the case presented by or on behalf of the party being accused or sued.
The lawyer prepared a strong defence for her client.


Fence can refer to a divider made of wire, wood, or metal, used for security or privacy.
The new fence provided much-needed privacy from their neighbors.


Defence also signifies a means of protection, like a barrier or shield.
The immune system serves as the body’s first line of defence against pathogens.


Fence can also mean to engage in selling stolen goods.
He was caught trying to fence stolen electronics.


Defence can mean the practice of protecting oneself with physical or tactical means.
Self-defence classes have become increasingly popular.


To fence is to evade an argument or question.
The politician fenced around the controversial issue during the interview.


In sports, defence refers to the action or players preventing the opposing team from scoring.
Their team's defence was particularly strong in the last quarter.


A structure serving as an enclosure, a barrier, or a boundary, usually made of posts or stakes joined together by boards, wire, or rails.


Variant of defense.


An adjustable guide with a flat edge used on a table saw and positioned parallel to the plane of the cutting attachment in order to keep the board properly positioned for the cut to be made at the correct distance from the board's edge.


The action of defending, of protecting from attack, danger or injury.


What does defence mean?

Defence refers to protecting oneself, a place, or a concept from attack, harm, or opposition.

Is fencing a sport?

Yes, fencing is a sport involving swordsmanship, and 'to fence' can also mean participating in this sport.

Are fences used for security?

Yes, fences are often used for security, privacy, and marking boundaries.

What is a fence?

A fence is a physical barrier used to enclose or separate an area, often made of wood, metal, or wire.

Are fences always made of wood?

No, fences can be made of various materials, including wood, metal, wire, or even plastic.

Can defence be non-physical?

Yes, defence can be conceptual, such as in legal defence or defending an idea.

Can defence include psychological strategies?

Yes, defence can involve psychological strategies, particularly in sports or military contexts.

Can a fence have decorative purposes?

Yes, apart from security and privacy, fences can also serve decorative purposes.

What is self-defence?

Self-defence is the act of defending oneself from physical harm.

Can fences be used for animal containment?

Yes, fences are commonly used to contain livestock or pets.

Can fencing involve more than physical barriers?

Yes, the term 'fence' can also refer to the act of selling stolen goods or evading questions.

How does defence function in sports?

In sports, defence refers to strategies or actions to prevent the opposing team from scoring.

Is legal defence only about criminal cases?

No, legal defence can pertain to both criminal and civil cases.

What does 'a line of defence' mean?

It refers to a method or strategy used to protect against something.

How does defence differ in individual vs. team sports?

In team sports, defence is a collective effort, whereas in individual sports, it's focused on personal tactics.

What is a defensive strategy in business?

In business, a defensive strategy involves tactics to protect a company's market position.

Is defence always reactive?

Not always. Defence can be proactive, involving strategies to prevent potential threats.

Are there regulations for fence heights?

Yes, many localities have regulations regarding the height and style of fences.

Is there a difference between a wall and a fence?

Yes, a wall is usually a solid structure made of brick, stone, or concrete, whereas a fence is often lighter and made of wood, metal, or wire.

Do fences require maintenance?

Yes, depending on the material, fences may require maintenance like painting or repairs.
About Author
Written by
Janet White
Janet White has been an esteemed writer and blogger for Difference Wiki. Holding a Master's degree in Science and Medical Journalism from the prestigious Boston University, she has consistently demonstrated her expertise and passion for her field. When she's not immersed in her work, Janet relishes her time exercising, delving into a good book, and cherishing moments with friends and family.
Edited by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.

Trending Comparisons

Popular Comparisons

New Comparisons