defensive

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

defensive

(dĭ-fĕn′sĭv)
adj.
1. Intended or appropriate for defending; protective.
2. Psychology Constantly protecting oneself from criticism, exposure of one's shortcomings, or other real or perceived threats to the ego.

de·fen′sive·ly adv.
de·fen′sive·ness n.

defensive

(dĕ-fen′siv)
1. Defending; protecting from injury.
2. In behavioral health, inordinately self-protective, esp. in response to criticism or inquiries by others.
References in classic literature ?
This immediately put her on the defensive, and with one of those sudden impulses of reprisal to which she was liable she gave him a little push from her.
The two remained silent for some minutes, Gryphus on the offensive, and Van Baerle on the defensive.
So sudden and formidable was her appearance that the boar involuntarily bunched himself together on the defensive and bristled as she swerved toward him.