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Defence Mechanism

The following statistics are based on the British National Corpus, so they are representative for the British English.

Distribution of usage frequency for the most common synonyms of the noun defence mechanism:

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Definition of the noun defence mechanism

What does defence mechanism mean as a name of something?


  1. (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
    • domain: psychiatry / psychological medicine / psychopathology
    • lexical domain: Natural Processes - nouns denoting natural processes
    • synonyms of defence mechanism: defence / defence reaction / defense / defense mechanism / defense reaction
    • more generic terms: process / unconscious process = a mental process that you are not directly aware of; psychoanalytic process = a process that is assumed to occur in psychoanalytic theory
    • more specific terms:
      • compensation = a defense mechanism that conceals your undesirable shortcomings by exaggerating desirable behaviors
      • conversion = a defense mechanism represses emotional conflicts which are then converted into physical symptoms that have no organic basis
      • denial = a defense mechanism that denies painful thoughts
      • displacement = a defense mechanism that transfers affect or reaction from the original object to some more acceptable one
      • idealisation / idealization = a defense mechanism that splits something you are ambivalent about into two representations--one good and one bad
      • intellectualisation / intellectualization = a defense mechanism that uses reasoning to block out emotional stress and conflict
      • isolation = a defense mechanism in which memory of an unacceptable act or impulse is separated from the emotion originally associated with it
      • projection = a defense mechanism by which your own traits and emotions are attributed to someone else
      • rationalisation / rationalization = a defense mechanism by which your true motivation is concealed by explaining your actions and feelings in a way that is not threatening
      • reaction formation = a defense mechanism in which a person unconsciously develops attitudes and behavior that are the opposite of unacceptable repressed desires and impulses and serve to conceal them
      • regression = a defense mechanism in which you flee from reality by assuming a more infantile state
      • repression = the classical defense mechanism that protects you from impulses or ideas that would cause anxiety by preventing them from becoming conscious


"Defence Mechanism" is a musical EP of The Spirit That Guides Us.

Printed dictionaries and other books with definitions for Defence Mechanism

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Google previewThe Doctors' Dictionary, 2nd edition (2011)

A medical dictionary written by a doctor for doctors by Joseph C Segen

See Defence mechanism SPORTS MEDICINE The team in a match ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Dentistry (2010)

by Robert Ireland

immunity is a defence mechanism which includes natural, mechanical, chemical, and biological barriers to infection and which has no degree of memory or specificity; it is present at birth prior to exposure to ...

Google previewA Dictionary of Theatre Anthropology (2011)

The Secret Art of the Performer by Eugenio Barba, Nicola Savarese

This defence mechanism has at leastthe meritof avoidingthe pathological condition ...

Google previewThe Encyclopaedia Britannica (1922)

A Dictionary of Arts, Sciences, Literature and General Information

The wish in a great number of these o was not to go back to an intolerable situation;andfear,aso" - with the instinct of self-preservation, arose as an uncon” defence mechanism, and persisted in maintaining such by ". cal manifestations as ...

Online dictionaries and encyclopedias with entries for Defence Mechanism

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Photos about Defence Mechanism

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defence mechanism

Strange defence mechanism

A brown hairy moth that owns 2 long hairy structure at the end of it's tail.
Unlike most of the other moths here that fly away when disturbed,
it stands it's ground and spread out the hairs on the 2 structures on it's tails.
This strange mechanism somehow can defend it.
The hairs there might be poisonous or just make itself looks dangerous or larger.

Name: Lepidoptera > Noctuoidea > Notodontidae > Dudusa vethi
Size: About 25mm.
Location: Rose Cabin (inn), Kundasang, Sabah, Malaysia.
Date: 11 Dec 2009
Time: 7 am

Photo credit: DiscoveringNewSpecies

If you need related images for an article or a report, you can download stock photos:
Small photo of One baby namaqua sandgrouse lying dead still on the ground in the Augrabies Falls National Park and pretending that they are dead. It is a defence mechanism of these birdsSmall photo of Two baby namaqua sandgrouse lying dead still on the ground in the Augrabies Falls National Park and pretending that they are dead. It is a defence mechanism of these birds More...

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