on the defensive

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English[edit]

Prepositional phrase[edit]

on the defensive

  1. Prepared to defend or protect against criticism, attack or aggression.
  2. (sports) defending; playing a defensive game
    • 2017 November 14, Phil McNulty, “England 0-0 Brazil”, in BBC News[1]:
      Brazil's greater quality and assurance in possession meant England spent much of the game on the defensive.

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