defensive Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “defensive” in the English Dictionary

"defensive" in British English

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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

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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 ​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

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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)
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“defensive” in American English

“defensive” in Business English

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