Definition of self-protective in US English:

self-protective

adjective

  • See self-protection

    • ‘Young people recognised that sticking together in groups could, in spite of their self-protective intentions, appear threatening to some adults.’
    • ‘Although even earlier thinkers such as Hume, Gibbon, and Voltaire (to name the most notable) had attacked Christianity and superstition, they usually did so under the cover of self-protective irony.’
    • ‘How could they participate in an effort that could defend their values, advocate more opening, more understanding, a better and wider vision of the world, and counteract the ongoing self-protective and reactionary state of minds?’
    • ‘Distasteful as this may now seem, it is important to recognise such attitudes as fundamental to the self-protective mechanism developed by generations of Catholics in response to traditional ‘put-downs’.’
    • ‘He was also a self-protective bachelor who fell in love and got married in his 40s, but that comes in the next volume of letters.’

Pronunciation

self-protective

/ˈˌself prəˈtektiv/