defensive

(redirected from on the defensive)
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Synonyms for defensive

Synonyms for defensive

an attitude of defensiveness (especially in the phrase 'on the defensive')

intended or appropriate for defending against or deterring aggression or attack

Related Words

Antonyms

attempting to justify or defend in speech or writing

References in classic literature ?
They are all on the defensive, lose their tempers, as though they all want to make one feel something.