from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. That which serves to protect or defend.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. That which serves to protect or defend.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. That which serves to defend or protect; a protection; a guard; a defense.


Latin defensare, defensatum, to defend diligently, intensive of defendere. See defend. (Wiktionary)


  • I would rather forgive pride in a poor body, than in a rich: for in the rich it is insult and arrogance, proceeding from their high condition; but in the poor it may be a defensative against dishonesty, and may shew a natural bravery of mind, perhaps, if properly directed, and manifested on right occasions, that the frowns of fortune cannot depress.


  • A short defensative about church government, toleration, and petitions about these things.

    The Sermons of John Owen

  • Christian magistrates, -- is so suited to our present frame and temper, but so unworthy of them, that I should wrong them by a defensative.

    The Sermons of John Owen

  • Charged they were that they worshipped an ass's head; which impious folly -- first fastened on the Jews by Tacitus, Hist., lib.v. cap. 1, in these words, "Effigiem animalis, quo monstrante errorem sitimque depulerant, penetrali sacravere" (having before set out a feigned direction received by a company of asses), which he had borrowed from Apion, a railing Egyptian of Alexandria [224] -- was so ingrafted in their minds that no defensative could be allowed.

    The Sermons of John Owen

  • So whereas one of them says, "Fundus animae meae tangit fundum essentiae Dei," it had certainly been better for him to have kept his apprehensions or fancy to himself, than to express himself in words which in their own proper sense are blasphemous, and whose best defensative is that they are unintelligible.


  • It is not, then, a sure and infallible defensative.

    Of Temptation

  • I say, I would suppose that this might divert our doctor from casting his eye upon Vedelius, whose defensative would have informed him that these epistles had been opposed as false and counterfeit before ever Salmasius or

    The Doctrine of the Saints��� Perseverance Explained and Confirmed

  • The dedication of books to the names of men worthy and of esteem in their generation takes sanctuary in so catholic and ancient prescription, that to use any defensative about my walking in the same path cannot but forfeit the loss of somewhat more than the pains that would he spent therein.

    The Doctrine of the Saints��� Perseverance Explained and Confirmed

  • And, indeed, the foisted passages in many places are so evident, yea shameful, that no man who is not resolved to say any thing, without care of proof or truth, can once appear in any defensative about them.

    The Doctrine of the Saints��� Perseverance Explained and Confirmed

  • Neither could we be justly blamed should we be more than ordinarily urgent herein, considering how prone the ears of men are to receive calumnious accusations concerning such as from whom they expect neither profit nor advantage, and how slow in giving admittance to an address of the most modest defensative.

    A Discourse concerning Evangelical Love, Church Peace, and Unity


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