[ UK /dɪfˈɛnsɪvnəs/ ]
[ US /dɪˈfɛnsɪvnəs/ ]
  1. excessive sensitivity to criticism
    his defensiveness was manifested in hurt silence
    the fear of being sued for malpractice has magnified physicians' defensiveness
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How To Use defensiveness In A Sentence

  • At the same time, his nervous defensiveness when he insists that Martha wear protective glasses under her sunlamp reveals a man terrified of his own feelings.
  • They'll scream class warfare, but in light of the charges it starts to sound like sniveling defensiveness.
  • You can and will overcome what appears to be trauma-related hypervigilance and tactile defensiveness. Times, Sunday Times
  • Don't let your defensiveness about it shut down a pivotally important discussion though. Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning Sundance Interview THE RUNAWAYS –
  • Anybody who votes for any reason other than pure defensiveness is a fool. Matthew Yglesias » Profiles in “Courage”
  • She thinks that the brothers' staccato speech stems from emotional defensiveness. Times, Sunday Times
  • This is the real problem: not a handful of big-mouthed animal-lovers in anoraks, but a defensiveness about research at the heart of government and the scientific establishment itself.
  • Occasionally, and in spite of his equanimity, his defensiveness is acute.
  • And so I think there's a certain defensiveness, a certain closing ranks around Barack Obama. Op-Ed: 15 Bleak Years Since The Million Man March
  • What began as bewilderment at the surprise attack turned rapidly to seething defensiveness. Christianity Today
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