Physiology. the defensive reaction of an organism, as against a pathogenic microorganism.
Psychology. an unconscious process, as denial, that protects an individual from unacceptable or painful ideas or impulses.
Origin of defense mechanism
First recorded in 1890–95
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
Related Words for defense mechanismconversion, defense, repression, suppression, sublimation, symbolization
Any of a variety of usually unconscious mental processes used to protect oneself from shame, anxiety, loss of self-esteem, conflict, or other unacceptable feelings or thoughts, and including behaviors such as repression, projection, denial, and rationalization.
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