- The definition of defensive is something designed to protect or secure, or being quick to defend against criticism or anticipating criticism or complaint.
- When a country builds up its army in preparation for an attack to secure its borders, this is an example of when it takes a defensive position.
- When you are over-sensitive about your mother-in-law's criticisms of your housekeeping skills and you are constantly ready to say "I clean fine!" this is an example of a time when you are defensive.
defensive definition by Webster's New World
- of or for defense
- designating or of the side that defends a goal, basket, etc. in a contest
- Psychol. constantly feeling under attack and hence quick to justify one's actions
Origin: Middle English and amp; Old French defensif ; from Midieval Latin defensivus ; from Classical Latin defensus: see defense
- Obsolete something that defends
- a position of defense: chiefly in the phrase , in a condition of resisting or being ready to resist attack or danger
defensive definition by American Heritage Dictionary
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th edition Copyright © 2010 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
- Intended or appropriate for defending; protective.
- a. Intended to withstand or deter aggression or attack: a defensive weapons system; defensive behavior.b. Of or relating to the effort to prevent an opponent from gaining points in a game or athletic contest.c. Performed so as to avoid risk, danger, or legal liability: defensive driving; defensive medicine,
- Of or relating to defense.
- Psychology Constantly protecting oneself from criticism, exposure of one's shortcomings, or other real or perceived threats to the ego.
- A means of defense.
- An attitude or position of defense.
- de·fenˈsive·ly adverb
- de·fenˈsive·ness noun
defensive - Phrases/Idioms
see on the defensive.
on the defensive
Prepared to withstand or counter aggression or attack.