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Meaning of defensive

de•fen•sive

Pronunciation: (di-fen'siv), [key]
— 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.) The bank has put a large percentage of its assets in defensive rather than growth stocks.
    1. 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.
    2. 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.
—n.
  1. a position or attitude of defense: to be on the defensive about one's mistakes.
  2. something that serves to defend.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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