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Noun: defense mechanism  di'fens 'me-ku,ni-zum
Usage: US (elsewhere: defence mechanism)
  1. (psychiatry) an unconscious process that tries to reduce the anxiety associated with instinctive desires
    - defense reaction [US], defence mechanism [Brit, Cdn], defence reaction [Brit, Cdn], defense [US], defence [Brit, Cdn]

Derived forms: defense mechanisms

Type of: process, psychoanalytic process, unconscious process

Encyclopedia: Defense mechanism