Dictionary

1defensive

adjective de·fen·sive \di-ˈfen(t)-siv, ˈdē-ˌ\

: defending or protecting someone or something from attack : helping to keep a person or thing safe

: behaving in a way that shows that you feel people are criticizing you

sports : of or relating to the way that players try to stop an opponent from scoring in a game or contest

Full Definition of DEFENSIVE

1
:  serving to defend or protect <defensive fortifications>
2
a :  devoted to resisting or preventing aggression or attack <defensive behavior>
b :  of or relating to the attempt to keep an opponent from scoring in a game or contest <a player with good defensive skills>
3
a :  valuable in defensive play <a defensive card in bridge>
b :  designed to keep an opponent from being the highest bidder <a defensive bid>
de·fen·sive·ly adverb
de·fen·sive·ness noun
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Examples of DEFENSIVE

  1. The city began building a defensive wall around its borders.
  2. The government decided to join a defensive alliance with several other nations.
  3. I was surprised by his defensive reaction to my suggestion.
  4. There's no need to get so defensive. I was only making a suggestion.
  5. When we asked her about the mistakes, she became defensive.
  6. The coach has a strong defensive strategy.

First Known Use of DEFENSIVE

14th century

2defensive

noun

Definition of DEFENSIVE

:  a defensive position
on the defensive
:  in the state or condition of being prepared or required to defend against attack or criticism <keeping his political rivals on the defensive>

Examples of DEFENSIVE

  1. <their unexpectedly harsh words put him on the defensive>

First Known Use of DEFENSIVE

1601

Related to DEFENSIVE

Rhymes with DEFENSIVE

DEFENSIVENESS Defined for Kids

1defensive

adjective de·fen·sive \di-ˈfen-siv\

Definition of DEFENSIVE for Kids

1
:  serving or meant to defend or protect <a defensive structure>
2
:  relating to the attempt to keep an opponent from scoring <a defensive play>
3
:  showing a dislike for criticism <She got defensive about my suggestion.>
de·fen·sive·ly adverb

2defensive

noun

Definition of DEFENSIVE for Kids

:  a position or attitude that is meant to defend <The criticism put him on the defensive.>
Medical Dictionary

defensive

adjective de·fen·sive \di-ˈfen(t)-siv, ˈdē-ˌ\

Medical Definition of DEFENSIVE

1
:  serving to defend or protect (as the ego) <face-saving is a common defensive reaction—Psychology Today>
2
:  devoted to resisting or preventing aggression or attack <defensive behavior>
de·fen·sive·ly adverb
de·fen·sive·ness noun

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