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1. Defense of oneself when physically attacked: took a course in self-defense.
2. Defense of what belongs to oneself, as one's works or reputation.
3. Law The use of force against another person as permitted by the law when that person is perceived as presenting an immediate or imminent threat to one's own life or safety.

self′-de·fen′sive adj.


1. the act of defending one's person by physical force.
2. a claim or plea that the use of force was necessary in defending one's own person.
3. an act or instance of protecting one's own interests, property, etc., as by argument.
Also, esp. Brit.,self′-defence′.
self′-defen′sive, adj.


A commander has the authority and obligation to use all necessary means available and to take all appropriate action to defend that commander's unit and other US forces in the vicinity from a hostile act or hostile intent. Force used should not exceed that which is necessary to decisively counter the hostile act or intent and ensure the continued safety of US forces or other persons and property they are ordered to protect. US forces may employ such force in self-defense only so long as the hostile force continues to present an imminent threat.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.self-defense - the act of defending yourselfself-defense - the act of defending yourself  
protection - the activity of protecting someone or something; "the witnesses demanded police protection"
martial art - any of several Oriental arts of weaponless self-defense; usually practiced as a sport; "he had a black belt in the martial arts"


(American) self-defense (selfdiˈfens) noun
defence of one's own body, property etc against attack. He killed his attacker in self-defence.


دِفَاعٌ عَنِ النَّفْس sebeobrana selvforsvar Selbstverteidigung αυτοάμυνα defensa propia itsepuolustus autodéfense samoobrana autodifesa 自衛 정당방위 zelfverdediging selvforsvar samoobrona autodefesa самозащита självförsvar การป้องกันตัวเอง meşru müdafaa sự tự vệ 自卫
References in classic literature ?
If the nation happens, on any emergency, to be more united by the necessity of self-defense, its situation is still deplorable.
Equally unfit for self-government and self-defense, it has long been at the mercy of its powerful neighbors; who have lately had the mercy to disburden it of one third of its people and territories.
Levin in self-defense began to describe what took place in the meetings in his district.
We do not kill except in self-defense," he replied; "self-defense and punishment.
They were too well occupied in self-defense to attempt to halt him, nor could they have done so other than by the wasting of a precious bullet which might be needed the next instant to turn the charge of a savage foe.
And when he killed for revenge, or in self-defense, he did that also without hysteria, for it was a very businesslike proceeding which admitted of no levity.
But I was raised in the United States, and I won't allow any one-horse chicken of the Land of Ev to run over me and put on airs, as long as I can lift a claw in self-defense.
You would be first, John Carter; but you may only win that honor by the will of the entire council that Lorquas Ptomel meet you in combat, or should he attack you, you may kill him in self-defense, and thus win first place.
The prevalence of the force of the "independent right" theory has colored commanders' views on the interplay of self-defense and mission-accomplishment ROE and threatens to undermine the disciplined application of combat power during operations.
MP Galina Skripkina (SDPK faction) presenting the bill said the amendments legally recognize any actions, taken by citizens in their own homes to protect their life, health, and property, as self-defense.
TEHRAN (FNA)- Ukrainian aircraft have attacked positions of self-defense forces near Saur Mogila Hill in the East of Ukraine's Eastern Donetsk region, where self-defense troops are trying to repel the attack, using anti-aircraft guns, reports said.
Self-defense classes have been taught in the United States since the 1970s, developed by feminists who saw rape and other forms of violence against women as a key source of social inequality.