- 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
Related Words for defensiveopposing, conservative, preservative, thwarting, preventive, uptight, arresting, resistive, balking, frustrating, guarding, interrupting, protecting, withstanding
Examples from the Web for defensive
Contemporary Examples of defensive
And I need to ask why their truth makes me so defensive, as if my truth is the only truth.In 2015, Let’s Try for More Compassion
January 4, 2015
Community activists attack racial bias in policing, so police get defensive?The St. Louis Rams Enter the Ferguson Fray
December 1, 2014
Nelson wrote a paper at Dartmouth on Standard Oil, which was about as defensive and as deeply researched as you would expect.This Republican Loved Taxes & Modern Art
November 19, 2014
I am, as the leader of the minority, the defensive coordinator.
On the staff of every football team, you have an offensive coordinator and a defensive coordinator.
Historical Examples of defensive
But for the most part one side in battle is on the offensive; the other on the defensive.Camps, Quarters and Casual Places
But the Americans and their abettors were not content with defensive law.The Life of Horatio Lord Nelson
We are not all arrayed in two opposite ranks; the offensive and the defensive.Life And Adventures Of Martin Chuzzlewit
I want our Volunteers to be more than a defensive organisation.Changing Winds
St. John G. Ervine
We must act on the defensive this winter, till reinforcements arrive.The Fall of British Tyranny
- 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
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.
see on the defensive.