self-protective

adjective
self-pro·​tec·​tive | \ ˌself-prə-ˈtek-tiv How to pronounce self-protective (audio) \

Definition of self-protective

: serving or tending to protect oneself self-protective instincts/behaviors a self-protective reaction taking self-protective measures Doubtless, previous relationships play a role in your evaluating how much self-protective distancing you may need to connect comfortably with another.— Leon F. Seltzer

Other Words from self-protective

self-protectiveness noun
… counselors often develop an intuitive feeling about traumatized individuals—a sixth sense about the client's fears, terror, feelings of being threatened and resulting self-protectiveness. — Lynne Shallcross

First Known Use of self-protective

1829, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of self-protective was in 1829

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