defense mechanismdefense mechanism
- any self-protective physiological system or reaction of an organism
- Psychiatry any thought process, as repression, introjection, denial, displacement, or sublimation, unconsciously used by an individual as a defense against feelings of guilt, anxiety, shame, etc.
- Biology A physiological reaction of an organism used in self-protection, as against infection.
- Psychology Any of various usually unconscious mental processes, including denial, projection, rationalization, and repression, that protect the ego from shame, anxiety, conflict, loss of self-esteem, or other unacceptable feelings or thoughts.