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Meaning of “defensive” in the English Dictionary

"defensive" in British English

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defensiveadjective

uk   /dɪˈfen.sɪv/ 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 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.

defensivenoun

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

"defensive" in American English

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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 driving class.
If someone is defensive, the person feels criticized and quickly tries to explain: Don’t be defensive – I’m just asking why you didn’t vote.
  • defensive adjective (SPORTS)

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

"defensive" in Business English

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defensiveadjective

uk   /dɪˈfensɪv/ us  
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   /dɪˈfensɪv/ us   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)
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“defensive” in American English

“defensive” in Business English

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