self-defense

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

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 forms

self-de·fen·sive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-defense