Definition of defensible in English:



  • 1Justifiable by argument.

    ‘a morally defensible penal system’
    • ‘This is a substantially weaker thesis, and I shall assume for purposes of argument that it is defensible.’
    • ‘I'm not sure how much of this is reasonable, defensible, arguable.’
    • ‘But I do think Judge Cedarbaum was very clear in her reasoning, very logical and very defensible.’
    • ‘This interpretation is perfectly understandable and defensible from a moral and emotional standpoint.’
    • ‘The federal government almost always has defensible reasons for their actions.’
    • ‘I believe people today can be attracted to a belief system that is rational and defensible.’
    • ‘In a meritocratic society, intelligence was a defensible rationale for social distinctions.’
    • ‘Self regulation is not magic: it requires substantive, defensible, and valid processes.’
    • ‘The only sensible and morally defensible route is to promote greater understanding and tolerance, and to educate the population on immigration issues.’
    • ‘It's hard to knock this decision in political terms, and it has a defensible legal rationale.’
    • ‘The merger was a rationally defensible idea which failed because it involved too high a cultural price.’
    • ‘How do we make legitimate and defensible distinctions between medically necessary and superfluous therapy?’
    • ‘Not every decision or action may be defensible, warranting both guidelines and the scrutiny the review intended.’
    • ‘The Revolution was an explosion of popular violence, understandable if scarcely defensible resentment.’
    • ‘I simply point out that they are articles of faith, and are NOT rationally defensible standpoints as most scientists would have you believe.’
    • ‘They have to come up with reasonable and defensible public policies that can be explained in terms of the public interest.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That argument should be based on five simple and defensible propositions.’
    • ‘But are the censors' actions justified or defensible?’
    • ‘That is an entirely reasonable and defensible position.’
    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’
    • ‘But if they decided to move in strength, he would never be able to stop them, however defensible the Gullet might be.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The tactic of climbing over the side of the mountain, rather than maintaining a defensible position, was not militarily sound.’
    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).