on the defensive


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on the defensive

In a state of readiness, willingness, and preparedness to defend oneself against aggression, criticism, or attack. He went on the defensive when we started questioning the originality of his work. She always puts me on the defensive with the accusatory way she talks to me. The home team is on the defensive now as their cross-town rivals try to push for a touchdown in the final minutes of the game.
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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.
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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]
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on/onto the deˈfensive

acting in a way that shows that you expect to be attacked or criticized; having to defend yourself: Their questions about the money put her on the defensive.Warnings of an enemy attack forced the troops onto the defensive. OPPOSITE: on the offensive
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on the defensive

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