Defensive vs Upset - What's the difference?

defensive | upset |

As adjectives the difference between defensive and upset

is that defensive is while upset is (of a person) angry, distressed or unhappy.

As a noun upset is

(uncountable) disturbance or disruption.

As a verb upset is

to make (a person) angry, distressed, or unhappy.




(en adjective)
  • Intended for defence; protective.
  • a defensive perimeter
  • Intended to deter attack.
  • a defensive missile system
  • Performed so as to minimise risk.
  • defensive driving
  • Displaying an inordinate sensitivity to criticism.
  • (cricket) Of a bowling or fielding tactic designed to prevent the other side from scoring runs; of a batting tactic designed to prevent being out.
  • (sports) Pertaining to defense, as opposed to attack.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=September 2 , author=Phil McNulty , title=Bulgaria 0-3 England , work=BBC citation , page= , passage=The Italian opted for Bolton's Cahill alongside captain John Terry - and his decision was rewarded with a goal after only 13 minutes. Bulgaria gave a hint of defensive frailties to come when they failed to clear Young's corner, and when Gareth Barry found Cahill in the box he applied the finish past Nikolay Mihaylov.}}
  • In a state or posture of defense.
  • (Milton)


    * offensive


    (en noun)
  • A means, attitude or position of defense.
  • * {{quote-news, year=2007, date=May 26, author=Julia Werdigier, title=Consolidating the Banks of Europe, work=New York Times citation
  • , passage=Such kinds of defensives are really rather protecting the local companies than the consumers. }}




    (en adjective)
  • (of a person) Angry, distressed or unhappy.
  • He was upset when she refused his friendship.
    My children often get upset with their classmates.
  • Feeling unwell, nauseated, or ready to vomit.
  • His stomach was upset , so he didn't want to move.


    * See'' angry, distressed ''and unhappy ** in a tizzy

    Derived terms

    * upset price


  • (uncountable) Disturbance or disruption.
  • My late arrival caused the professor considerable upset .
  • (countable, sports) An unexpected victory of a competitor that was not favored.
  • * {{quote-news
  • , year=2011 , date=January 8 , author=Paul Fletcher , title=Stevenage 3 - 1 Newcastle , work=BBC citation , page= , passage=But it is probably the biggest upset for the away side since Ronnie Radford smashed a famous goal as Hereford defeated Newcastle 2-1 in 1972.}}
  • (automobile insurance) An overturn.
  • "collision and upset ": impact with another object or an overturn for whatever reason.
  • An stomach.
  • * 1958 May 12, advertisement, Life , volume 44, number 19, page 110 []:
  • "Bob, let's cancel the babysitter. With this upset stomach, I can't go out tonight.
    "Try Pepto-Bismol. Hospital tests prove it relieves upsets . And it's great for indigestion or nausea, too!"
  • (mathematics) An upper set; a subset (X,?) of a partially ordered set with the property that, if x is in U and x?y, then y is in U.
  • Synonyms

    * (sense) disruption, disturbance * (unexpected victory of a competitor)


  • To make (a person) angry, distressed, or unhappy.
  • I’m sure the bad news will upset him, but he needs to know.
  • To disturb, disrupt or adversely alter (something).
  • Introducing a foreign species can upset the ecological balance.
    The fatty meat upset his stomach.
  • To tip or overturn (something).
  • * 1924 , W. D. Ross translator, , Book 1, Part 9, The Classical Library, Nashotah, Wisconsin, 2001.
  • But this argument, which first Anaxagoras and later Eudoxus and certain others used, is very easily upset ; for it is not difficult to collect many insuperable objections to such a view.
  • To defeat unexpectedly.
  • ''Truman upset Dewey in the 1948 US presidential election.
  • To be upset or knocked over.
  • The carriage upset when the horse bolted.
  • (obsolete) To set up; to put upright.
  • * R. of Brunne
  • with sail on mast upset
  • To thicken and shorten, as a heated piece of iron, by hammering on the end.
  • To shorten (a tire) in the process of resetting, originally by cutting it and hammering on the ends.
  • Synonyms

    * (make (a person) angry, distressed or unhappy''): ''See'' anger, distress ''and sadden * disrupt, disturb, turn upside down * (sense) invert, overturn, tip, tip over, tip up, turn over, turn upside down

    Derived terms

    * upset the applecart * upset the natives