defensive Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “defensive” in the English Dictionary

"defensive" in British English

See all translations

defensiveadjective

uk   us   /dɪˈfen.sɪv/
  • defensive adjective (PROTECTING)

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

expend iconexpend iconMore examples

  • 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 ​sportsevent, ​trying to ​prevent the ​opposingplayer or ​players from ​scoringpoints, ​goals, etc.: He's ​currently the ​best defensive ​player on the ​team.

defensivenoun

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

"defensive" in American English

See all translations

defensiveadjective

 us   /dɪˈfen·sɪv/
  • defensive adjective (PROTECTING)

intended to ​protect against ​attack or ​harm: a defensive ​strategy It’s too late to ​sign up for the defensive ​drivingclass. If someone is defensive, the ​personfeelscriticized and ​quicklytries to ​explain: Don’t be defensive – I’m just ​asking why you didn’t ​vote.
  • defensive adjective (SPORTS)

trying to ​prevent the ​opposingplayer or ​players from ​scoringpoints: The team’s defensive ​strategy was ​effective.
(Definition of defensive from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"defensive" in Business English

See all translations

defensiveadjective

uk   us   /dɪˈfensɪv/
FINANCE, STOCK MARKET an ​investment that is defensive is very ​safe, with little or no ​risk, and its ​value does not ​change very much over a ​period of ​time: a defensive ​share/​stock
trying to ​protect someone or something from ​harm or attack: a defensive ​measure/​move

defensivenoun [C]

uk   us   /dɪˈfensɪv/ UK
FINANCE, STOCK MARKET an ​investment that is very ​safe, with little or no ​risk, and whose ​value does not ​change very much over a ​period of ​time: Analysts said ​investors were ​moving to defensives that had enough ​cash to ​cover a high ​dividend.
(Definition of defensive from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of defensive?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

“defensive” in American English

“defensive” in Business English

Word of the Day

hipster

someone who is very influenced by the most recent ideas and fashions

Word of the Day

Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
Chest pains and palpitations: talking about illness (2)
by Liz Walter,
February 03, 2016
My previous post (My leg hurts: Talking about illness (1)) presented some general vocabulary to use at the doctor’s. This one looks at some more specific areas of illness and explains some useful words and phrases that you may need to use or understand on a visit to the doctor’s. There are several

Read More 

awesomesauce noun
awesomesauce noun
February 01, 2016
slang the state of being extremely good or enjoyable or something or someone that is extremely good or enjoyable Recovering from the awesomesauce of another fab #Vidcon!!

Read More