Etymology
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self-defense (n.)

1650s, "act of defending oneself," first in Hobbes, from self- + defense. In sports sense, first with reference to fencing (1728), then boxing and pugilism (1820s).

[I]n 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. [Century Dictionary]

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Definitions of self-defense

self-defense (n.)
the act of defending yourself;
Synonyms: self-defence / self-protection
From wordnet.princeton.edu