defense mechanism

defense mechanism
(psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires

* * *

(US) (or Brit defence mechanism) noun, pl ⋯ -nisms [count]
1 : a process in the brain that makes you forget or ignore painful or disturbing thoughts, situations, etc.

She is projecting her anger on you as a defense mechanism.

2 : a reaction in your body that protects against disease or danger

the cell's normal defense mechanisms against infection

Useful english dictionary. 2012.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • defense mechanism — n. 1. any self protective physiological system or reaction of an organism 2. Psychiatry any thought process, as repression, introjection, or sublimation, unconsciously used by an individual as a defense against feelings of guilt, anxiety, shame,… …   English World dictionary

  • defense mechanism — n 1) an often unconscious mental process (as repression, projection, or sublimation) that makes possible compromise solutions to personal problems 2) a defensive reaction by an organism * * * a usually unconscious mental process that serves to… …   Medical dictionary

  • defense mechanism — 1. Physiol. the defensive reaction of an organism, as against a pathogenic microorganism. 2. Psychol. an unconscious process, as denial, that protects an individual from unacceptable or painful ideas or impulses. [1890 95] * * * In psychoanalytic …   Universalium

  • defense mechanism — defense′ mech anism n. psl an unconscious process that protects an individual from unacceptable or painful ideas or impulses • Etymology: 1890–95 …   From formal English to slang

  • defense mechanism — Synonyms and related words: alienation, autism, autistic thinking, avoidance, avoidance mechanism, avoidance reaction, avoiding reaction, blame shifting, block, blocking, circumvention, compensation, conversion, decompensation, defence, defense,… …   Moby Thesaurus

  • defense mechanism — de fense ,mechanism noun count 1. ) something that happens in your mind that helps you deal with something such as a bad experience 2. ) a process in your body that prevents you from becoming sick …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • defense mechanism — noun Date: 1913 1. an often unconscious mental process (as repression) that makes possible compromise solutions to personal problems 2. a defensive reaction by an organism …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • defense mechanism — reaction of self protection by an organism; mental process whereby one avoids unpleasant ideas or impulses (Psychoanalysis) …   English contemporary dictionary

  • mechanism of defense — n DEFENSE MECHANISM (1) …   Medical dictionary

  • mechanism — [mek′ə niz΄əm] n. [ModL mechanismus < Gr mēchanē, MACHINE] 1. the working parts or arrangement of parts of a machine; works [the mechanism of a clock] 2. a) a system whose parts work together like those of a machine [the mechanism of the… …   English World dictionary

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