on the defensive


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Related to on the defensive: worse for wear, so much for, give a shot, be damned, not a chance

on the defensive

weary and ready to defend oneself. John goes on the defensive when his athletic ability is questioned. The child was on the defensive when questioned about cheating.
See also: on

on the defensive

Prepared for withstanding aggression or attack, as in The debate team's plan was to keep their opponents on the defensive, or This teacher put students on the defensive about their mistakes. [c. 1600]
See also: on

on the defensive

Prepared to withstand or counter aggression or attack.
See also: on