— defensively , adv. — defensiveness , n.
/di fen"siv/ , adj.
1. serving to defend; protective: defensive armament.
2. made or carried on for the purpose of resisting attack: defensive treaty; a defensive attitude.
3. of or pertaining to defense.
4. (of stocks, securities, etc.)
a. able to provide moderately steady growth with minimal risk: The bank has put a large percentage of its assets in defensive rather than growth stocks.
b. considered stable and relatively safe for investment, esp. during a decline in the economy.
5. excessively concerned with guarding against the real or imagined threat of criticism, injury to one's ego, or exposure of one's shortcomings.
6. a position or attitude of defense: to be on the defensive about one's mistakes.
7. Obs. something that serves to defend.
[ 1350-1400; defensivus (see DEFENSE, -IVE); r. ME defensif ]