Meaning of coping mechanism

cop'ing mech"anism

Pronunciation: [key]
— Psychol. Psychol.
  1. an adaptation to environmental stress that is based on conscious or unconscious choice and that enhances control over behavior or gives psychological comfort. Cf. defense mechanism (def. 2).
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.