What does defensive mean?

Definitions for defensive
dɪˈfɛn sɪvde·fen·sive

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word defensive.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. defensive, defensive attitudeadjective

    an attitude of defensiveness (especially in the phrase `on the defensive')

  2. defensiveadjective

    intended or appropriate for defending against or deterring aggression or attack

    "defensive weapons"; "a defensive stance"

  3. defensive, justificative, justificatoryadjective

    attempting to justify or defend in speech or writing


  1. defensivenoun

    A means, attitude or position of defense.

  2. defensiveadjective

    Intended for defence; protective

  3. defensiveadjective

    Intended to deter attack

  4. defensiveadjective

    Performed so as to minimise risk

  5. defensiveadjective

    Displaying an inordinate sensitivity to criticism; compare paranoid

  6. defensiveadjective

    Of a bowling or fielding tactic designed to prevent the other side from scoring runs.; of a batting tactic designed to prevent being out.

  7. defensiveadjective

    pertaining to defense, as opposed to attack.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Defensiveadjective

    Etymology: defensif, Fr. from defendens, Latin.

    He would not be persuaded by danger to offer any offence, but only to stand upon the best defensive guard he could. Philip Sidney.

    My unpreparedness for war, testifies for me, that I am set on the defensive part. Charles I .

    Defensive arms lay by, as useless here,
    Where massy balls the neighbouring rocks do tear. Edmund Waller.

    What stood, recoil’d,
    Defensive scarce, or with pale fear surpriz’d,
    Fled ignominious. John Milton.

  2. Defensivenoun

    Etymology: from the adjective.

    Wars preventive upon just fears, are true defensives, as well as on actual invasions. Francis Bacon, War with Spain.

    His majesty, not at all dismayed, resolved to stand upon the defensive only. Edward Hyde, b. viii.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Defensiveadjective

    serving to defend or protect; proper for defense; opposed to offensive; as, defensive armor

  2. Defensiveadjective

    carried on by resisting attack or aggression; -- opposed to offensive; as, defensive war

  3. Defensiveadjective

    in a state or posture of defense

  4. Defensivenoun

    that which defends; a safeguard

  5. Etymology: [Cf. F. dfensif.]

Military Dictionary and Gazetteer

  1. defensive

    A force is said to be on the defensive, or to assume a defensive attitude, when it takes up a position to receive an attack.

British National Corpus

  1. Adjectives Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'defensive' in Adjectives Frequency: #871

How to pronounce defensive?

How to say defensive in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of defensive in Chaldean Numerology is: 6

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of defensive in Pythagorean Numerology is: 8

Examples of defensive in a Sentence

  1. Penny Merriman:

    Are we really that bad? Isn't that bad? i've lived here all my life. Sometimes I feel a little defensive -- if you can't take the heat, then get out of the race.

  2. Jeff Tjornehoj:

    They did like technology and utilities, which is an odd combination because utilities are a defensive play and technology is an aggressive one.

  3. John Kerry:

    THAAD Is a purely defensive weapon, it is purely capable of shooting down a ballistic missile it intercepts and it is there for the protection of the United States, if we can get to denuclearization, there's no need to deploy THAAD.

  4. Notre Dame:

    They're really gifted and they are a great defensive team.

  5. Paula Hancocks:

    And, also bear in mind, we're just a couple of days away now from the joint military drills between the United States and South Korea. These happen every year. Washington and Seoul say they're defensive in nature, but every year they irritate Pyongyang.

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Translations for defensive

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

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    a person who pleads for a cause or propounds an idea
    • A. instigation
    • B. urus
    • C. viverrine
    • D. exponent

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