Meaning of “defensive” in the English Dictionary

"defensive" in British English

See all translations

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

More examples

defensivenoun

uk /dɪˈfen.sɪv/ us /dɪˈfen.sɪv/

(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 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

See all translations

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)