[ dih-fen-siv ]
/ dɪˈfɛn sɪv /
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.
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Origin of defensive
OTHER WORDS FROM defensive
de·fen·sive·ly, adverbde·fen·sive·ness, nounnon·de·fen·sive, adjectivenon·de·fen·sive·ly, adverb
non·de·fen·sive·ness, nouno·ver·de·fen·sive, adjectiveo·ver·de·fen·sive·ly, adverbo·ver·de·fen·sive·ness, nounsem·i·de·fen·sive, adjectivesem·i·de·fen·sive·ly, adverbsem·i·de·fen·sive·ness, nounun·de·fen·sive, adjectiveun·de·fen·sive·ly, adverbun·de·fen·sive·ness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021
Example sentences from the Web for defensive
It is a curious characteristic of the non-defensive disposition that it is like a honey-jar to flies.Jennie Gerhardt|Theodore Dreiser
British Dictionary definitions for defensive
/ (dɪˈfɛnsɪv) /
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
Derived forms of defensivedefensively, adverbdefensiveness, noun
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Idioms and Phrases with defensive
see on the defensive.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.