defense mechanism

noun

Definition of defense mechanism

1 : an often unconscious mental process (such as repression) that makes possible compromise solutions to personal problems
2 : a defensive reaction by an organism

Examples of defense mechanism in a Sentence

She is projecting her anger on you as a defense mechanism. the cell's normal defense mechanisms against infection
Recent Examples on the Web As a youngster, Smith took on the situation as his own personal failure, becoming an entertainer as a defense mechanism. Angelique Jackson, Variety, 12 Nov. 2021 This mRNA would prompt each of us to manufacture a little piece of the coronavirus (the spike protein) which would in turn prompt our immune system (our body’s defense mechanism) to create antibodies and other immune cells in response. Ella Nilsen, CNN, 4 Aug. 2021 Atlantica was an idea that emerged as family story and defense mechanism. Los Angeles Times, 18 Aug. 2021 This mRNA would prompt each of us to manufacture a little piece of the coronavirus (the spike protein) which would in turn prompt our immune system (our body's defense mechanism) to create antibodies and other immune cells in response. Andy Rose And Madeline Holcombe, CNN, 4 Aug. 2021 She's been through a lot in her life and put up walls as a defense mechanism. Marie Claire, 2 Aug. 2021 But while studying the role of the brain’s immune cells in Alzheimer’s disease, his group found that the dense plaques might be part of the brain's defense mechanism. Jackie Rocheleau, Forbes, 27 Apr. 2021 About 2,500 troops remain, along with forces from some NATO nations, which have been stalwart after the U.S. invoked the collective-defense mechanism known as Article 5 after the 9/11 attacks. Editorial Board, Star Tribune, 9 Mar. 2021 The microscopic organisms can use their blue glow as a defense mechanism to ward off predators, but that function doubles as a sight of amazement for humans who experience it. Patrick Connolly, orlandosentinel.com, 23 June 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'defense mechanism.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of defense mechanism

1909, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for defense mechanism

Time Traveler

The first known use of defense mechanism was in 1909

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Dictionary Entries Near defense mechanism

defenseman

defense mechanism

defensible

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Statistics for defense mechanism

Last Updated

27 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Defense mechanism.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/defense%20mechanism. Accessed 25 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for defense mechanism

defense mechanism

noun

English Language Learners Definition of defense mechanism

: a process in the brain that makes you forget or ignore painful or disturbing thoughts, situations, etc.
: a reaction in your body that protects against disease or danger

defense mechanism

noun

Medical Definition of defense mechanism

1 : an often unconscious mental process (as repression, projection, or sublimation) that makes possible compromise solutions to personal problems
2 : a defensive reaction by an organism

More from Merriam-Webster on defense mechanism

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about defense mechanism

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