There could be few complaints from the Geordies as we completely dominated the first half and maintained the territorial advantage after the break.
As always, there was late pressure as we defended the 1-0 lead but Newcastle only carved out two chances all afternoon - Shola Ameobi headed down and over the bar in the first half and James Milner lobbed wide of an open goal after a mix-up between Paul Robinson and Ledley King after the break. Captain King was otherwise outstanding.
The winning goal owed a lot to Defoe's tenacity and willingness to chase lost causes as stand-in goalkeeper Steve Harper was left red-faced.
Defoe chased down Celestine Babayaro's back pass to Harper's weaker left side and the keeper hit his clearance straight at Simon Davies. He flicked out a leg and deflected the ball into the air, leaving the lively Defoe with a tap in from six yards.
The England star's 22nd goal of the season improved our league record at home to seven wins, a draw and a defeat since the 5-4 loss against Arsenal back in November.
Martin Jol made three changes from the line-up at Birmingham City last week with Stephen Kelly, Anthony Gardner and Simon Davies in for Noe Pamarot, Noureddine Naybet and Reto Ziegler, who is on the bench with Robbie Keane, Sean Davis and the returning Goran Bunjevcevic.
Defoe's goal gave us a deserved lead at the interval as we completely dominated the first half.
Davies, Carrick and most notably Brown chased and harried from the first minute, refusing Butt and Faye time to breathe in midfield, a work ethic maintained by Defoe up front.
The possession wasn't turned into clear-cut chances though as crosses missed their targets by inches or passes were a yard to far. Brown, Reid and Gardner all had effort just off target and Harper, making only his second league start of the season, looked in good nick when called upon.
Indeed, Newcastle carved out the best chance of the half in just about their only attack as Jenas crossed for Ameobi climbing high at the far post only for his downward header to bounce up and over the bar and land on the roof of the net.
However, Harper's day took a turn for the worse four minutes before the break when Defoe chased down Babayaro's back pass, Harper's clearance of his weaker left foot was blocked by Davies and the ball rebounded for Defoe to tap home.
Shearer was replaced by Milner at half-time as the pace relented somewhat as the start of the second half.
Again, we always looked the more likely to score as Boumsong's tackle denied Defoe and Kelly volleyed over.
As at St Andrews last week, Jol as forced into changes as Brown limped off after 54 minutes, replaced by Davis.
Three minutes later and Milner missed the chance of the match. Robinson had everything under control but King looked away as the keeper rolled the ball out to him. Milner was onto it in a flash but with the goal gaping, lobbed well wide of the target from 25 yards.
We hit back with Kanoute, Davis and Davies all trying their luck and Kanoute might have done better from 16 yards from Defoe's lovely pass.
Into the last 15 minutes and Newcastle started to enjoy more possession without really breaking us down.
King was there to make a couple of blocks, corners were cleared and two decent free-kick opportunities both driven into the wall.
GUIDE TO THE ACTION
2mins: Davies' long throw half-cleared to Brown, 20 yards out, chested the ball down cleverly to work space and drilled shot straight at Harper from edge of box.
5mins: Reid floated in cross from right, Gardner rose well but not enough power on header to trouble Harper.
8mins: Excellent low cross from Reid from left just too far in front of Defoe and Harper out bravely to collect.
13mins: YELLOW. Brown for foul on Butt.
18mins: YELLOW. Faye for stopping quick taking of free-kick.
20mins: Good control and pass from Defoe wide to Reid, measured cross dummied by Davies and missed by inches by Kanoute.
20mins: Kanoute control and laid ball to Reid, he ran at Carr before shooting wide from 25 yards.
22mins: Carrick turned away from Butt, threaded pass just too far ahead of Defoe, Harper out to clear.
23mins: Brown half-volleyed well wide from 25 yards.
27mins: MISS. Newcastle's first serious attack, Jenas floated ball to far post, met by Ameobi in six-yard box, headed into ground but ball bounced up and over the bar, landing on roof of net.
28mins: Davies onto ball in flash as Butt dallied, looked to square for unmarked Kanoute but Butt back to make amends and block cross.
30mins: Huge leap from Gardner to meet King's free-kick but header always going wide.
41mins: GOAL. Defoe put pressure on Babayaro's back pass to Harper, clearance off weaker left foot hit Davies and rebounded for Defoe to tap home from six yards.
Spurs 1, Newcastle 0
Half-time: Spurs 1, Newcastle 0
Half-time: SUB. Milner for injured Shearer.
47mins: Defoe latched onto O'Brien's mistake from Robinson's long kick but Boumsong there to make last-ditch tackle as he pulled the trigger.
49mins: Great pace from Davies to beat Carr and reach Reid's pass, turned Carr and crossed deep where Kelly volleyed on the full into top tier of Paxton Road.
50mins: YELLOW. Ameobi for foul on King.
54mins: Davis for injured Brown.
57mins: MISS. Mix-up between Robinson and King handed Milner golden chance, 25 yards out, open goal, lobbed yards wide. Glaring miss.
61mins: SUBS. N'Zogbia and Ambrose for Butt and Robert.
63mins: Davies won brave 50-50, ball fell to Kanoute, 25 yards out, time to steady himself but scuffed shot with left foot.
64mins: Decent build-up, Defoe wide to supportiung Edman, low cross controlled by Kanoute and laid back for Davis to strike high and wide.
66mins: Kelly threaded pass through to Davies, managed to beat advancing Harper to it but couldn't get ball out of feet to cross and Harper back to collect.
73mins: O'Brien's clearance fell to Davies, 25 yards out, went for a curler with outside of right foot but lifted too high.
74mins: CHANCE. Defoe got better of O'Brien, rolled perfect pass for Kanoute who blazed over from 16 yards.
76mins: Great block from King to deny Ambrose.
77mins: SUB. Keane for Defoe.
80mins: Davis shooting chance centrally from 20 yards but didn't get hold of it.
82mins: Good interchange between Reid and Edman, dangerous low cross from Edman cut out by Babayaro. Gardner then headed over from Reid's corner.
83mins: SUB. Ziegler for Davies.
85mins: YELLOW. Davis for foul on Jenas.
Full-time: Spurs 1, Newcastle United 0
Spurs: Robinson; Kelly, Edman, King, Gardner; Davies (Ziegler, 83), Carrick, Brown (Davis, 54), Reid; Kanoute, Defoe (Keane, 77). Subs: Cerny, Bunjevcevic.
Newcastle United: Harper, Carr, Butt (Ambrose, 61), O'Brien, Boumsong, Jenas, Shearer (Milner, 45), Faye, Ameobi, Robert (N'Zogbia, 61), Babayaro. Subs: Caig, Hughes.
A typical poacher's goal from Jermain Defoe secured a deserved win as we climbed into seventh place in the Barclays Premiership on Sunday.