Meaning of DEFENSIVE in English

I. di-ˈfen(t)-siv, ˈdē-ˌ adjective

Date: 14th century

1. : serving to defend or protect

defensive fortifications


a. : devoted to resisting or preventing aggression or attack

defensive behavior

b. : of or relating to the attempt to keep an opponent from scoring in a game or contest

a player with good defensive skills


a. : valuable in defensive play

a defensive card in bridge

b. : designed to keep an opponent from being the highest bidder

a defensive bid

• de·fen·sive·ly adverb

• de·fen·sive·ness noun

II. noun

Date: 1601

: a defensive position

- on the defensive

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.