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defence mechanism

Line breaks: de|fence mech|an¦ism

Definition of defence mechanism in English:

noun

1An automatic reaction of the body against disease-causing organisms.
Example sentences
  • It is equivocal whether or not fever can be universally regarded as a body defence mechanism, particularly as its usefulness or otherwise where there is no infection is obscure.
  • The neurological basis for the response to tickling probably evolved from a reflex defense mechanism that protected our body's surface from external, moving stimuli - most often, predators or parasites.
  • It is thought to be the body's natural defence mechanism - the body tries to reach a temperature that the virus or bacteria cannot survive in.
1.1A mental process initiated unconsciously to avoid experiencing conflict or anxiety.
Example sentences
  • The traumatised patient uses denial as an ego defence mechanism that operates unconsciously to resolve emotional conflict, and to allay anxiety by refusing to perceive the more unpleasant aspects of external reality.
  • In Freud's theories, repression was the fundamental defense mechanism, a way of keeping disturbing and anxiety-generating thoughts and memories out of consciousness.
  • Another common complication in hostage situations is a human defense mechanism called the Stockholm syndrome, in which hostages come to empathize with the captors and their cause.

Definition of defence mechanism in:

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