Definition of defensible in US English:



  • 1Justifiable by argument.

    ‘a morally defensible penal system’
    • ‘The merger was a rationally defensible idea which failed because it involved too high a cultural price.’
    • ‘The Revolution was an explosion of popular violence, understandable if scarcely defensible resentment.’
    • ‘The federal government almost always has defensible reasons for their actions.’
    • ‘This is a substantially weaker thesis, and I shall assume for purposes of argument that it is defensible.’
    • ‘They have to come up with reasonable and defensible public policies that can be explained in terms of the public interest.’
    • ‘The only sensible and morally defensible route is to promote greater understanding and tolerance, and to educate the population on immigration issues.’
    • ‘That argument should be based on five simple and defensible propositions.’
    • ‘In a meritocratic society, intelligence was a defensible rationale for social distinctions.’
    • ‘I'm not sure how much of this is reasonable, defensible, arguable.’
    • ‘How do we make legitimate and defensible distinctions between medically necessary and superfluous therapy?’
    • ‘Self regulation is not magic: it requires substantive, defensible, and valid processes.’
    • ‘But are the censors' actions justified or defensible?’
    • ‘Tools exist that can synthesise such data to scientific standards and provide logical and defensible conclusions about impacts on a system, a population, and society.’
    • ‘But I do think Judge Cedarbaum was very clear in her reasoning, very logical and very defensible.’
    • ‘I believe people today can be attracted to a belief system that is rational and defensible.’
    • ‘I simply point out that they are articles of faith, and are NOT rationally defensible standpoints as most scientists would have you believe.’
    • ‘Not every decision or action may be defensible, warranting both guidelines and the scrutiny the review intended.’
    • ‘That is an entirely reasonable and defensible position.’
    • ‘This interpretation is perfectly understandable and defensible from a moral and emotional standpoint.’
    • ‘It's hard to knock this decision in political terms, and it has a defensible legal rationale.’
    justifiable, arguable, tenable, defendable, maintainable, sustainable, supportable, plausible, well founded, sound, sensible, reasonable, rational, logical, able to hold water
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  • 2Able to be protected.

    ‘a fort with a defensible yard at its feet’
    • ‘Following the war, UN resolution 242 recognized the nation's right to defensible borders, to be set in negotiations.’
    • ‘The principles of this were defensible space, community interaction, natural surveillance, estate design and target hardening.’
    • ‘This is to support the people of the country and to secure defensible borders for them.’
    • ‘The border must be rational: defensible for one group, livable for the the other.’
    • ‘The tactic of climbing over the side of the mountain, rather than maintaining a defensible position, was not militarily sound.’
    • ‘But if they decided to move in strength, he would never be able to stop them, however defensible the Gullet might be.’
    secure, safe, fortified, protectable, able to be protected, holdable
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Middle English (in the sense ‘capable of giving protective defense’): from late Latin defensibilis, from Latin defendere (see defend).