Meaning of DEFENSIVE in English

I. de ‧ fen ‧ sive 1 /dɪˈfensɪv/ BrE AmE adjective

[ Word Family: noun : DEFENCE/DEFENSE , ↑ defendant , ↑ defender , ↑ defensiveness ; adjective : DEFENCELESS/DEFENSELESS , ↑ defensible ≠ ↑ indefensible , ↑ defensive ; adverb : ↑ defensibly ≠ ↑ indefensibly , ↑ defensively ; verb : ↑ defend ]

1 . used or intended to protect someone or something against attack OPP offensive :

The prince drew up his forces in a strong defensive position.

The rockets are a purely defensive measure against nuclear attack.

2 . behaving in a way that shows you think someone is criticizing you even if they are not:

She despised herself for sounding so defensive.

a reserved and defensive manner

3 . American English relating to stopping the other team from getting points in a game OPP offensive :

defensive play

—defensively adverb

—defensiveness noun [uncountable]

II. defensive 2 BrE AmE noun

1 . on/onto the defensive behaving in a way that shows that you think that someone is criticizing you even if they are not:

In his presence, she was constantly on the defensive.

2 . put/force somebody on the defensive if you put someone on the defensive in an argument, you attack them so that they are in a weaker position ⇨ go on the offensive :

an issue that put the White House on the defensive

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.