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8 Words That Are Older Than You Think

self-defense

[self-di-fens, self-] /ˈsɛlf dɪˈfɛns, ˌsɛlf-/
noun
1.
the act of defending one's person when physically attacked, as by countering blows or overcoming an assailant:
the art of self-defense.
2.
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.
3.
an act or instance of defending or protecting one's own interests, property, ideas, etc., as by argument or strategy.
Also, especially British, self-defence.
Origin
1645-1655
1645-55
Related forms
self-defensive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for self defense
  • When preemptive nuclear war is upheld as 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
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Difficulty index for self-defense

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Word Value for self

7
8
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