- 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 defensiveness
Yet Manhattan has none of the defensiveness that seems to be peeking around the corners of this film.
Back to The Knocks, still awash in denial and defensiveness.Daft Punk Mystery Solved!*
June 6, 2013
It spoke of insecurity rather than control, defensiveness instead of dynamism.Jennifer Lopez’s Fashion Blunder at American Music Awards
November 21, 2011
Then read the mountains of judgment, scorn, bragging, critiquing, and defensiveness that each debate seems to produce.You're Pregnant, Have a Drink
October 6, 2010
Police need to uncross their arms that are folded in defiance and defensiveness across their chests.Are We All Racial Profilers?
July 29, 2009
- 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 defensiveness
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 defensiveness
see on the defensive.