Meaning of DEFENSIVE in English

I. də̇ˈfen(t)siv, dēˈ-, ˈdēˌf-, -sēv also -səv adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French defensif, from Medieval Latin defensivus, from Latin defensus (past participle of defendere to defend) + -ivus -ive

1. : serving to defend or protect : proper for defense : protective , shielding

a moat defensive to a house — Shakespeare


a. : devoted to resisting or preventing aggression or attack

a defensive alliance

defensive strategy

defensive behavior

— — opposed to offensive

b. cricket : concerned with defense of the wicket rather than the scoring of runs — used of a batsman or his play

3. obsolete : defensible

4. bridge

a. : valuable in defensive play — used of a card that can be expected to win a trick against opponent's contract

b. of a bid : designed to keep opponent from being the highest bidder

• de·fen·sive·ly -sə̇vlē, -li adverb

• de·fen·sive·ness -sivnə̇s, -sēv- also -səv- noun -es

II. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French defensif, from defensif, adjective

1. obsolete : something that defends

2. : a defensive position

- on the defensive

III. adjective

: of, relating to, or being industries (as foods, utilities, and insurance) which provide essential needs to the ultimate consumer and in which business activity is relatively insensitive to changes in general business activity

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.