defensiveness defensiveness  /dɪ ˈfɛn sɪv nəs/


  • (n) excessive sensitivity to criticism


  1. Scientology, in turn, has tended toward defensiveness bordering on paranoia, filing scores of libel suits on the slightest provocation.
  2. To get a taste of the cowboy's ancient pride, and current defensiveness, just click on South Dakota cattleman Jody Brown's website, www.
  3. Occasionally lapsed into the weary defensiveness she displayed during the health care wars of '93 and various subsequent Clinton sagas.


  • Our lack of racial empathy is appalling

    Dean Obeidallah says if we don't get past the knee jerking defensiveness when discussing race, we will likely be burying more Trayvon Martins.
    on July 16, 2013     Source: CNN


  1. Gates said Friday he was "disappointed that some in the army have not adequately appreciated the seriousness of the situation pertaining to outpatient care at Walter Reed." "Some have shown too much defensiveness and have not shown enough...
    on Mar 2, 2007 By: Robert Gates Source: Sydney Morning Herald

  2. "I'm extraordinarily lucky and privileged, and I've tried not to be bitter, but I have developed a reactionary defensiveness," Affleck said of the media attention focused on his life. "But for my child, she didn't make the bargain I did. She...
    on Dec 10, 2006 By: Ben Affleck Source: USA Today

  3. Walter Isaacson, vice chairman of the Louisiana Recovery Authority, says he was "somewhat astonished" at Barreto's "defensiveness and excuses" at a Nov. 8 Senate hearing.
    on Dec 25, 2005 By: Walter Isaacson Source: Jacksonville Business Journal

Word of the Day
propriety propriety
/prə ˈpraɪ ə ti /