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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
Defending and protectingBacking, supporting and defendingPreserving and savingResponding to an attackArms and munitions in general

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!Answering and respondingDenying and contradicting

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.Sports and games generally

defensive

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