\globaldefs is a TeX internal parameter. Normally set to 0. If set equal to a positive number, all following definitions and assignments are treated as if preceded by \global. If set equal to a negative number, none of the following definitions or assignments are global, meaning that an explicit \global is ignored. This remains in effect until \globaldefs is explicitly set to 0 again, or the group containing the \globaldefs reassignment ends (assuming it was not made global as well).