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defensive

[dih-fen-siv] /dɪˈfɛn sɪv/
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.
  1. 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.
  2. 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
1350-1400; < Medieval Latin dēfēnsīvus (see defense, -ive); replacing Middle English defensif < Middle French < Medieval Latin, as above
Related forms
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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British Dictionary definitions for un defensive

defensive

/dɪˈfɛnsɪv/
adjective
1.
intended, suitable, or done for defence, as opposed to offence
2.
rejecting criticisms of oneself or covering up one's failings
noun
3.
a position of defence
4.
on the defensive, in an attitude or position of defence, as in being ready to reject criticism
Derived Forms
defensively, adverb
defensiveness, 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
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Word Origin and History for un defensive

defensive

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.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Idioms and Phrases with un defensive
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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