- serving to defend; protective: defensive armament.
- made or carried on for the purpose of resisting attack: defensive treaty; a defensive attitude.
- of or relating to defense.
- (of stocks, securities, etc.)
- able to provide moderately steady growth with minimal risk: The bank has put a large percentage of its assets in defensive rather than growth stocks.
- considered stable and relatively safe for investment, especially during a decline in the economy.
- excessively concerned with guarding against the real or imagined threat of criticism, injury to one's ego, or exposure of one's shortcomings.
Origin of defensive
Examples from the Web for defensively
But in 1998, he sensed the urgency and the utility of taking impeachment on directly—and certainly not defensively.Send In Bill Clinton to Save the Democratic Midterm Campaign
April 14, 2014
“That was the decision of the lawyers,” Sharpton says defensively in the Times interview.Al Sharpton’s Long Bill of Goods, From Tawana Brawley to Primetime
June 3, 2013
The Patriot subset that declines to accept racism continues to cope with the issue unevenly and defensively.The Patriot Movement’s New Bestseller Tests Their Anti-Racism
June 8, 2012
But Boredom, defensively subtitled A Lively History, is in fact a spirited, no-nonsense guide to a surprisingly contentious topic.A Book About Boredom Is Anything But
June 20, 2011
“I got them when I was in medical school but I never wore them,” she said, a little too defensively.Why Are These Models Wearing Clogs?
June 2, 2010
"Well, that happened a good while ago," said Taterleg defensively.The Duke Of Chimney Butte
G. W. Ogden
Defensively he crouched, yet the next instant he was overthrown.The Trail of '98
Robert W. Service
The other eyed her defensively and she tried to tidy her hair with hands that shook.Jane Journeys On
Ruth Comfort Mitchell
"They're very kind among themselves," Paula said defensively.The Stars, My Brothers
Defensively, too, had the rider of the maherry an advantage over his antagonists.The Boy Slaves
- intended, suitable, or done for defence, as opposed to offence
- rejecting criticisms of oneself or covering up one's failings
- a position of defence
- on the defensive in an attitude or position of defence, as in being ready to reject criticism
Word Origin and History for defensively
c.1400 (adj. and noun), from French défensif (14c.), from Medieval Latin defensivus, from defens-, past participle stem of Latin defendere (see defend). Of persons, "alert to reject criticism," from 1919. Related: Defensively; defensiveness.
Idioms and Phrases with defensively
see on the defensive.