1. That serves to defend; proper for defense; as defensive armor, which repels attacks or blows, opposed to offensive arms, which are used in attack.

2. Carried on in resisting attack or aggression; as defensive war, in distinction from offensive war, which is aggressive.

3. In a state or posture to defend.

DEFENSIVE, n. Safeguard; that which defends.

Wars preventive, upon just fears, are true defensives.

To be on the defensive, or to stand on the defensive, is to be or stand in a state or posture of defense or resistance, in opposition to aggrression or attack.