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self-defense

[ self-di-fens, self- ]
/ ˈsɛlf dɪˈfɛns, ˌsɛlf- /
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SEE MORE SYNONYMS FOR self-defense ON THESAURUS.COM

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.

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RELATED WORDS

Nearby words

self-deceived, self-deceiving, self-deception, self-defeating, self-defence, self-defense, self-deliverance, self-deluded, self-delusion, self-denial, self-denying
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-defense

Word Origin and History for self-defense

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