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English definition of “defensive”

defensive

adjective uk   /dɪˈfen.sɪv/ us  

defensive adjective (PROTECTING)

used to protect someone or something against attack: These are purely defensive weapons, not designed for attack.
Opposite

defensive adjective (SENSITIVE)

C2 too quick to protect yourself from being criticized: When asked about his decision, he got very defensive. There's no need to get so defensive!

defensive adjective (IN SPORT)

in a sports event, trying to prevent the opposing player or players from scoring points, goals, etc.: He's currently the best defensive player on the team.

defensive

noun uk   /dɪˈfen.sɪv/ us  
on the defensive ready to protect yourself because you are expecting to be criticized or attacked
defensively
adverb uk   /-li/ us  
defensiveness
noun [U] uk   /-nəs/ us  
(Definition of defensive from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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