Share this entry
self-defense Syllabification: self-de·fense
Pronunciation: /ˈˌself dəˈfens/ /ˈˌself dēˈfens/

Definition of self-defense in English:


The defense of one’s person or interests, especially through the use of physical force, which is permitted in certain cases as an answer to a charge of violent crime: he claimed self-defense in the attempted murder charge [as modifier]: self-defense classes
More example sentences
  • In such circumstances the wounding of V would not be unlawful as it would be justified by the defence of self-defence.
  • There can be no doubt that the magistrates were entitled to reject the argument of self-defence or defence of another.
  • Plainly this defence must not be confused with self-defence under public international law.


Example sentences
  • When a threat exists, a person's primary self-defensive goal is to affirm the integrity of the self, not to resolve the particular threat.
  • In the letter, Paul engaged in a self-defensive polemic.
  • It's transformed into something else, a weird therapeutic exposé, partly self-defensive, partly confessional, and largely performative (it's no secret at any point that cameras are rolling).
Definition of self-defense in:
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources