duty to retreat
[doo-tee tuh ri-treet, dyoo-tee]
a legal principle that requires a person as a first response to back away or flee from a threatening situation rather than attempt self-defense by deadly force: Duty to retreat has always been a debatable doctrine.
Compare stand your ground.
Origin of duty to retreat
First recorded in 1780–90
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019