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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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|Noun||1.||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"
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