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de·fen·sive / diˈfensiv/ • adj. 1. used or intended to defend or protect: troops in defensive positions. ∎  (in sports) relating to or intended as defense. 2. very anxious to challenge or avoid criticism: he was very defensive about that side of his life. PHRASES: on the defensive expecting or resisting criticism or attack. DERIVATIVES: de·fen·sive·ness n.

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defensiveimpassive, massive, passive •expansive •aggressive, compressive, concessive, degressive, depressive, digressive, excessive, expressive, impressive, obsessive, oppressive, possessive, progressive, recessive, regressive, repressive, retrogressive, successive, transgressive •reflexive •apprehensive, coextensive, comprehensive, defensive, expensive, extensive, intensive, offensive, ostensive, pensive, suspensive •counteroffensive •abrasive, evasive, invasive, persuasive, pervasive •adhesive, cohesive •missive, omissive, permissive, submissive •decisive, derisive, divisive, incisive •irresponsive, responsive •corrosive, explosive, implosive, plosive •abusive, allusive, collusive, conclusive, conducive, delusive, diffusive, effusive, elusive, exclusive, illusive, inclusive, intrusive, obtrusive, preclusive, reclusive, seclusive •percussive •compulsive, convulsive, impulsive, propulsive, repulsive •purposive •coercive, cursive, excursive, subversive

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