self-defence

self-defense

[self-di-fens, self-]
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:
1645–55

self-defensive, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
self-defence
 
n
1.  the act of defending oneself, one's actions, ideas, etc
2.  boxing as a means of defending the person (esp in the phrase noble art of self-defence)
3.  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
 
self-de'fensive
 
adj

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

self-defense
1651, "act of defending oneself," first attested in Hobbes, from self + defense (q.v.). In sports sense, first with ref. to fencing (1728), then boxing (1820s).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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