self-defense

noun self-de·fense \ ˌself-di-ˈfen(t)s \

Definition of self-defense

1 : a plea of justification for the use of force or for homicide
2 : the act of defending oneself, one's property, or a close relative

First Known Use of self-defense

1651


SELF-DEFENSE Defined for English Language Learners

self-defense

noun

Definition of self-defense for English Language Learners

  • : the act of defending yourself, your property, etc.

  • : skills that make you capable of protecting yourself during an attack


SELF-DEFENSE Defined for Kids

self-defense

noun self-de·fense \ ˌself-di-ˈfens \

Definition of self-defense for Students

: someone's act of defending himself or herself or his or her property
  • I acted in self-defense.

Law Dictionary

self-defense

noun self-de·fense \ ˈself-di-ˈfens \

legal Definition of self-defense

1 : the use of force to defend oneself
2 : an affirmative defense (as to a murder charge) alleging that the defendant used force necessarily to protect himself or herself because of a reasonable belief that the other party intended to inflict great bodily harm or death — see also justification 2


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