Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Defense of oneself when physically attacked: took a course in self-defense.
  • n. Defense of what belongs to oneself, as one's works or reputation.
  • n. Law The right to protect oneself against violence or threatened violence with whatever force or means are reasonably necessary.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The means of defending oneself from physical attack.
  • n. The right to protect oneself against violence by using reasonable force, especially when used as justification in a murder charge.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act of defending one's own person, property, or reputation.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act of defending one's own person, property, or reputation; in law, the act of forcibly resisting a forcible attack upon one's own person or property, or upon the persons or property of those whom, by law, one has a right to protect and defend.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of defending yourself

Etymologies

self- +‎ defense (Wiktionary)

Examples

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