defensiveness

defensive

[dih-fen-siv]
adjective
1.
serving to defend; protective: defensive armament.
2.
made or carried on for the purpose of resisting attack: defensive treaty; a defensive attitude.
3.
of or pertaining to defense.
4.
a.
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.
b.
considered stable and relatively safe for investment, especially during a decline in the economy.
5.
excessively concerned with guarding against the real or imagined threat of criticism, injury to one's ego, or exposure of one's shortcomings.
noun
6.
a position or attitude of defense: to be on the defensive about one's mistakes.
7.
Obsolete. something that serves to defend.

Origin:
1350–1400; < Medieval Latin dēfēnsīvus (see defense, -ive); replacing Middle English defensif < Middle French < Medieval Latin, as above

defensively, adverb
defensiveness, noun
nondefensive, adjective
nondefensively, adverb
nondefensiveness, noun
overdefensive, adjective
overdefensively, adverb
overdefensiveness, noun
semidefensive, adjective
semidefensively, adverb
semidefensiveness, noun
undefensive, adjective
undefensively, adverb
undefensiveness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
defensive (dɪˈfɛnsɪv)
 
adj
1.  intended, suitable, or done for defence, as opposed to offence
2.  rejecting criticisms of oneself or covering up one's failings
 
n
3.  a position of defence
4.  on the defensive in an attitude or position of defence, as in being ready to reject criticism
 
de'fensively
 
adv
 
de'fensiveness
 
n

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

defensive
c.1400, from Fr. défensif (14c.), from M.L. defensivus, from defens-, pp. stem of L. defendere (see defend). Of persons, "alert to reject criticism," from 1919. Related: Defensively (1660s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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