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1. Intended or appropriate for defending; protective.
a. Intended to withstand or deter aggression or attack: a defensive weapons system; defensive behavior.
b. Of or relating to the effort to prevent an opponent from gaining points in a game or athletic contest.
c. Performed so as to avoid risk, danger, or legal liability: defensive driving; defensive medicine.
3. Of or relating to defense.
4. Psychology Constantly protecting oneself from criticism, exposure of one's shortcomings, or other real or perceived threats to the ego.
1. A means of defense.
2. An attitude or position of defense.
on the defensive
Prepared to withstand or counter aggression or attack.

de·fen′sive·ly adv.
de·fen′sive·ness n.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.defensiveness - excessive sensitivity to criticism; "his defensiveness was manifested in hurt silence"; "the fear of being sued for malpractice has magnified physicians' defensiveness"
sensitiveness, sensitivity - the ability to respond to affective changes in your interpersonal environment
bunker mentality - defensiveness resulting from repeated attacks; "after so many suicide bombings the Israelis have to resist developing a bunker mentality"


[dɪˈfensɪvnɪs] N (= tone) → tono m defensivo; (= attitude) → actitud f defensiva
References in periodicals archive ?
Kazakhstan were as unapologetic for defensiveness - often with six at the back - as they were with their rather agricultural challenges.
Kazakhstan were as unapologetic for defensiveness -often with six at the back - as they were with their rather agricultural challenges.
Subsequently, the prize rules were changed to prevent any writer outside Israel from winning againan act of cultural defensiveness that bespeaks a narrow view of what the Hebrew language can do, and who it is for.
Well into her thirties, Gina hasn't overcome the anger and defensiveness resulting from a bizarre and traumatic childhood.
Broadcaster and agony aunt Mariella Frostrup emphasising that she and her old friend George Clooney never became lovers "He is unleashing a level of vitriol, and defensiveness, hatred, that I don't think we should tolerate'" Hillary Clinton attacks President Donald Trump "I had to do a whole day of sex scenes.
He is unleashing a level of vitriol and defensiveness, hatred, that I don't think we should tolerate" - Hillary Clinton attacks President Donald Trump.
Interior monologue, awkward conversations, sound bites and postcard texts lend authenticity to the defensiveness and underlying vulnerability of both protagonists.
Refugee rights activist Sarah Collins - who is standing for election to the Scottish Parliament in May with the new left-wing party Rise - added: "Crane is trying to tap into feelings of fear, resentment, defensiveness and isolation that many people have.
They discuss the role of the trainer as a facilitator, including understanding resistance, maintaining a positive learning climate, intervening to eliminate disruptive behavior, and observing group process and improving its function, as well as redesigning a workshop while teaching it, avoiding defensiveness, and facilitating learning.
Wall's grouchy disposition and Buck's defensiveness about his impediment, the therapy sessions are rocky, but both persevere.
We all know that if you send a text message, or if you rat somebody out to their boss, the odds of defensiveness are about 100.
Ignatius' Daily Examen, that has helped me discover my go-to secret sin: defensiveness.