self-defense

[ self-di-fens, self- ]
/ ˈsɛlf dɪˈfɛns, ˌsɛlf- /
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noun

the act of defending one's person when physically attacked, as by countering blows or overcoming an assailant: the art of self-defense.
a claim or plea that the use of force or injuring or killing another was necessary in defending one's own person from physical attack: He shot the man who was trying to stab him and pleaded self-defense at the murder trial.
an act or instance of defending or protecting one's own interests, property, ideas, etc., as by argument or strategy.
Also especially British, self-de·fence.

Origin of self-defense

First recorded in 1645–55
Related formsself-de·fen·sive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-defence

British Dictionary definitions for self-defence

self-defence


noun

the act of defending oneself, one's actions, ideas, etc
boxing as a means of defending the person (esp in the phrase noble art of self-defence)
law the right to defend one's person, family, or property against attack or threat of attack by the use of no more force than is reasonable
Derived Formsself-defensive, adjective
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for self-defence

self-defense


n.

1650s, "act of defending oneself," first attested in Hobbes, from self- + defense. In sports sense, first with reference to fencing (1728), then boxing (1820s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper