self ( selves plural )
1 n-count Your self is your basic personality or nature, especially considered in terms of what you are really like as a person.
usu adj N
You're looking more like your usual self..., She was back to her old self again.
2 n-count A person's self is the essential part of their nature which makes them different from everyone and everything else. usu adj N I want to explore and get in touch with my inner self...
1 comb in adj and n Self- is used to form words which indicate that you do something to yourself or by yourself.
He is a self-proclaimed racist., ...self-destructive behaviour...
2 comb in adj and n Self- is used to form words which describe something such as a device that does something automatically by itself.
...a self-loading pistol.
Someone who is self-absorbed thinks so much about things concerning themselves that they do not notice other people or the things around them. adj
In a school or college, a self-access centre is a place where students can choose and use books, tapes, or other materials.
...a self-access study centre.
A self-addressed envelope is an envelope which you have written your address on and which you send to someone in another envelope so that they can send something back to you. adj usu ADJ n
Please enclose a stamped self-addressed envelope.
Something that is self-adhesive is covered on one side with a sticky substance like glue, so that it will stick to surfaces. adj usu ADJ n
in BRIT, also use self-aggrandisement If you say that someone is guilty of self-aggrandizement, you mean that they do certain things in order to make themselves more powerful, wealthy, or important. n-uncount
He was interested in service, not self-aggrandisement.
A self-appointed leader or ruler has taken the position of leader or ruler without anyone else asking them or choosing them to have it. adj usu ADJ n
...the new self-appointed leaders of the movement.
Self-assembly is used to refer to furniture and other goods that you buy in parts and that you have to put together yourself. adj usu ADJ n
...a range of self-assembly bedroom furniture.
Self-assertion is confidence that you have in speaking firmly about your opinions and demanding the rights that you believe you should have. n-uncount
...her silence and lack of self-assertion...
Someone who is self-assertive acts in a confident way, speaking firmly about their opinions and demanding the rights that they believe they should have. adj
If you want good relationships, you must have the confidence to be self-assertive when required.
In Britain, self-assessment refers to a system for paying tax in which people have to fill in an official form giving details of how much money they have earned in the previous year. n-sing
Someone who has self-assurance shows confidence in the things that they say and do because they are sure of their abilities. n-uncount
Someone who is self-assured shows confidence in what they say and do because they are sure of their own abilities. adj
He's a self-assured, confident negotiator.
Someone who is self-aware knows and judges their own character well. adj usu v-link ADJ
Doing a degree has increased my confidence and I feel much more self-aware.
It is assumed that you are interested in achieving greater self-awareness.
Self-belief is confidence in your own abilities or judgment. n-uncount
If you go on a self-catering holiday or you stay in self-catering accommodation, you stay in a place where you have to make your own meals.
(BRIT) n-uncount usu N n
The self-catering flats are usually reserved for postgraduate students.
in AM, use self-centered
Someone who is self-centred is only concerned with their own wants and needs and never thinks about other people. adj
He was self-centred, but he wasn't cruel.
If you describe someone as a self-confessed murderer or a self-confessed romantic, for example, you mean that they admit openly that they are a murderer or a romantic. adj ADJ n
The self-confessed drug addict was arrested 13 months ago...
If you have self-confidence, you behave confidently because you feel sure of your abilities or value. n-uncount
With the end of my love affair, I lost all the self-confidence I once had...
Someone who is self-confident behaves confidently because they feel sure of their abilities or value. adj
She'd blossomed into a self-confident young woman.
If someone keeps emphasizing how well they have done or how good they are, you can refer to their behaviour as self-congratulation. n-uncount
This is not a matter for self-congratulation.
If you describe someone or their behaviour as self-congratulatory, you mean that they keep emphasizing how well they have done or how good they are. adj
Officials were self-congratulatory about how well the day had gone.
1 adj Someone who is self-conscious is easily embarrassed and nervous because they feel that everyone is looking at them and judging them.
usu v-link ADJ, oft ADJ about n
I felt a bit self-conscious in my swimming costume..., Bess was self-conscious about being shorter than her two friends.
self-consciously adv ADV with v
She was fiddling self-consciously with her wedding ring.
...her painful self-consciousness.
2 adj If you describe someone or something as self-conscious, you mean that they are strongly aware of who or what they are.
FORMAL Putting the work together is a very self-conscious process.
self-consciously adv ADV adj
The world which the book inhabits seems too self-consciously literary, too introverted...
1 adj You can describe someone or something as self-contained when they are complete and separate and do not need help or resources from outside.
He seems completely self-contained and he doesn't miss you when you're not there..., ...self-contained economic blocs.
2 adj Self-contained accommodation such as a flat has all its own facilities, so that a person living there does not have to share rooms such as a kitchen or bathroom with other people.
usu ADJ n
If you say or write something that is self-contradictory, you make two statements which cannot both be true. adj
He is notorious for making unexpected, often self-contradictory, comments.
Self-control is the ability to not show your feelings or not do the things that your feelings make you want to do. n-uncount
I began to wish I'd shown more self-control.
Someone who is self-controlled is able to not show their feelings or not do the things that their feelings make them want to do. adj
My father, who had always been very self-controlled, became bad-tempered.
Self-deception involves allowing yourself to believe something about yourself that is not true, because the truth is more unpleasant. n-uncount
Human beings have an infinite capacity for self-deception.
Self-declared means the same as self-proclaimed. adj ADJ n
...the self-declared interim president..., He is a self-declared populist.
A plan or action that is self-defeating is likely to cause problems or difficulties instead of producing useful results. adj
Dishonesty is ultimately self-defeating.
in AM, use self-defense
1 n-uncount Self-defence is the use of force to protect yourself against someone who is attacking you.
usu with supp, oft in/of N
Richards claimed he acted in self-defence after Pagett opened fire on him during a siege., ...courses in karate or some other means of self-defence.
2 n-uncount Self-defence is the action of protecting yourself against something bad.
Jokes can be a form of self-defence.
Self-delusion is the state of having a false idea about yourself or the situation you are in. n-uncount
...the grandiose self-delusion of the addict.
Self-denial is the habit of refusing to do or have things that you would like, either because you cannot afford them, or because you believe it is morally good for you not to do them or have them. n-uncount
Should motherhood necessarily mean sacrifice and self-denial?
Someone who is self-denying refuses to do or have things that they would like, either because they cannot afford them, or because they believe it is morally good for them not to do them or have them. adj
They believed that good parents should be self-sacrificing and self-denying...
If you describe someone's behaviour as self-deprecating, you mean that they criticize themselves or represent themselves as foolish in a light-hearted way. adj usu ADJ n
Sharon tells the story of that night with self-deprecating humour.
self-destruct ( self-destructs 3rd person present) ( self-destructing present participle) ( self-destructed past tense & past participle ) If someone self-destructs, they do something that seriously damages their chances of success. verb
They're going to be famous, but unless something happens, they're going to self-destruct... V
Self-destructive behaviour is harmful to the person who behaves in that way. adj
He had a reckless, self-destructive streak.
Self-determination is the right of a country to be independent, instead of being controlled by a foreign country, and to choose its own form of government. n-uncount
Self-discipline is the ability to control yourself and to make yourself work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell you what to do. n-uncount
Exercising at home alone requires a tremendous amount of self-discipline.
Someone who is self-disciplined has the ability to control themselves and to make themselves work hard or behave in a particular way without needing anyone else to tell them what to do. adj
Most religions teach you to be truthful and self-disciplined.
Self-doubt is a lack of confidence in yourself and your abilities. n-uncount
1 adj A self-drive car is one which you hire and drive yourself.
(BRIT) ADJ n
Any holiday in the USA and Canada is enhanced by renting a self-drive car.
in AM, use rental car
2 adj A self-drive holiday is one where you drive yourself to the place where you are staying, rather than being taken there by plane or coach.
(BRIT) ADJ n
...the growth in popularity of self-drive camping holidays.
People who are self-educated have acquired knowledge or a skill by themselves, rather than being taught it by someone else such as a teacher at school. adj
...a self-educated man from a working class background.
Someone's self-effacement is their unwillingness to talk about themselves or draw attention to themselves. n-uncount
He was modest to the point of self-effacement.
Someone who is self-effacing does not like talking about themselves or drawing attention to themselves. adj
As women we tend to be self-effacing and make light of what we have achieved.
If you are self-employed, you organize your own work and taxes and are paid by people for a service you provide, rather than being paid a regular salary by a person or a firm. (BUSINESS) adj
There are no paid holidays or sick leave if you are self-employed., ...a self-employed builder.
The self-employed are people who are self-employed., n-plural the N
We want more support for the self-employed.
Your self-esteem is how you feel about yourself. For example, if you have low self-esteem, you do not like yourself, you do not think that you are a valuable person, and therefore you do not behave confidently. n-uncount
Poor self-esteem is at the centre of many of the difficulties we experience in our relationships.
A fact or situation that is self-evident is so obvious that there is no need for proof or explanation. adj usu v-link ADJ
It is self-evident that we will never have enough resources to meet the demand...
self-evidently adv ADV adj, ADV with cl/group
The task was self-evidently impossible...
1 n-uncount Self-examination is thought that you give to your own character and actions, for example in order to judge whether you have been behaving in a way that is acceptable to your own set of values.
also a N
The events in Los Angeles have sparked a new national self-examination...
2 n-uncount Self-examination is the act of examining your own body to check whether or not you have any signs of a particular disease or illness.
Breast self-examination is invaluable for detecting cancer in its very early stages.
Something that is self-explanatory is clear and easy to understand without needing any extra information or explanation. adj usu v-link ADJ
I hope the graphs on the following pages are self-explanatory.
Self-expression is the expression of your personality, feelings, or opinions, for example through an artistic activity such as drawing or dancing. n-uncount
Clothes are a fundamental form of self-expression.
If you describe a statement or belief about the future as self-fulfilling, you mean that what is said or believed comes true because people expect it to come true. adj
Fear of failure can become a self-fulfilling prophecy.
A self-governing region or organization is governed or run by its own people rather than by the people of another region or organization. adj
...a self-governing province...
Self-government is government of a country or region by its own people rather than by others. n-uncount
1 n-uncount Self-help consists of people providing support and help for each other in an informal way, rather than relying on the government, authorities, or other official organizations.
oft N n
She helped her Mum set up a self-help group for parents with over-weight children.
2 n-uncount Self-help consists of doing things yourself to try and solve your own problems without depending on other people.
...a society that encourages competitiveness and self-help among the very young., ...a self-help book.
self-image ( self-images plural ) Your self-image is the set of ideas you have about your own qualities and abilities. n-count usu sing
Children who have a positive self-image are less likely to present behaviour and discipline problems.
If you say that someone is self-important, you disapprove of them because they behave as if they are more important than they really are. adj
He was self-important, vain and ignorant.
Many visitors complained of his bad manners and self-importance.
A self-imposed restriction, task, or situation is one that you have deliberately created or accepted for yourself. adj usu ADJ n
He returned home in the summer of 1974 after eleven years of self-imposed exile...
self-indulgence ( self-indulgences plural ) Self-indulgence is the act of allowing yourself to have or do the things that you enjoy very much. n-var
Going to the movies in the afternoon is one of my big self-indulgences.
If you say that someone is self-indulgent, you mean that they allow themselves to have or do the things that they enjoy very much. adj
To buy flowers for myself seems wildly self-indulgent.
A self-inflicted wound or injury is one that you do to yourself deliberately. adj
He is being treated for a self-inflicted gunshot wound.
If you accuse someone of self-interest, you disapprove of them because they always want to do what is best for themselves rather than for anyone else. n-uncount
Their current protests are motivated purely by self-interest.
If you describe someone as self-interested, you disapprove of them because they always want to do what is best for themselves rather than for other people. adj
Narrowly self-interested behaviour is ultimately self-defeating.
Self-knowledge is knowledge that you have about your own character and nature. n-uncount
The more self-knowledge we have, the more control we can exert over our feelings and behaviour.
If someone feels self-loathing, they feel great dislike and disgust for themselves. n-uncount
Self-made is used to describe people who have become successful and rich through their own efforts, especially if they started life without money, education, or high social status. adj usu ADJ n
He is a self-made man., ...a self-made millionaire.
If you describe someone as self-obsessed, you are criticizing them for spending too much time thinking about themselves or their own problems. adj
self-parody ( self-parodies plural ) Self-parody is a way of performing or behaving in which you exaggerate and make fun of the way you normally perform or behave. n-var
By the end of his life, Presley's vocals often descended close to self-parody.
Self-pity is a feeling of unhappiness that you have about yourself and your problems, especially when this is unnecessary or greatly exaggerated. n-uncount
Throughout, he showed no trace of self-pity.
Someone who is self-pitying is full of self-pity. adj
At the risk of sounding self-pitying, I'd say it has been harder on me than it has on Joanne.
self-portrait ( self-portraits plural ) A self-portrait is a drawing, painting, or written description that you do of yourself. n-count
Someone who is self-possessed is calm and confident and in control of their emotions. adj
She is clearly the most articulate and self-possessed member of her family.
Self-possession is the quality of being self-possessed. n-uncount
She found her customary self-possession had deserted her.
Self-preservation is the action of keeping yourself safe or alive in a dangerous situation, often without thinking about what you are doing. n-uncount
The police have the same human urge for self-preservation as the rest of us.
1 adj Self-proclaimed is used to show that someone has given themselves a particular title or status rather than being given it by other people.
...a self-proclaimed expert..., He is President of his own self-proclaimed republic.
2 adj Self-proclaimed is used to show that someone says themselves that they are a type of person which most people would be embarrassed or ashamed to be.
One of the prisoners is a self-proclaimed racist who opened fire on a crowd four years ago.
Self-raising flour is flour that makes cakes rise when they are cooked because it has chemicals added to it.
in AM, use self-rising flour
Self-regulation is the controlling of a process or activity by the people or organizations that are involved in it rather than by an outside organization such as the government. n-uncount
Competition between companies is too fierce for self-regulation to work.
self-regulatory , self-regulating
Self-regulatory systems, organizations, or activities are controlled by the people involved in them, rather than by outside organizations or rules. adj usu ADJ n
For a self-regulatory system to work, the consent of all those involved is required.
Self-reliance is the ability to do things and make decisions by yourself, without needing other people to help you. n-uncount
People learned self-reliance because they had to...
If you are self-reliant, you are able to do things and make decisions by yourself, without needing other people to help you. adj
She is intelligent and self-reliant, speaking her mind and not suffering fools gladly.
Self-respect is a feeling of confidence and pride in your own ability and worth. n-uncount
They have lost not only their jobs, but their homes, their self-respect and even their reason for living.
You can use self-respecting with a noun describing a particular type of person to indicate that something is typical of, or necessary for, that type of person. adj ADJ n
He died as any self-respecting gangster should<endash>in a hail of bullets...
If you show self-restraint, you do not do something even though you would like to do it, because you think it would be better not to. n-uncount
If you describe someone as self-righteous, you disapprove of them because they are convinced that they are right in their beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour and that other people are wrong. adj
He is critical of the monks, whom he considers narrow-minded and self-righteous.
...her smug self-righteousness.
Self-rising flour is flour that makes cakes rise when they are cooked because it has chemicals added to it.
in BRIT, use self-raising flour
Self-rule is the same as self-government. n-uncount
The agreement gives the territory limited self-rule.
Self-sacrifice is the giving up of what you want so that other people can have what they need or want. n-uncount
I thanked my parents for all their self-sacrifice on my behalf.
Someone who is self-sacrificing gives up what they want so that other people can have what they need or want. adj
He was a generous self-sacrificing man.
self-same , selfsame
You use self-same when you want to emphasize that the person or thing mentioned is exactly the same as the one mentioned previously. adj ADJ n (emphasis)
You find yourself worshipped by the self-same people who beat you up at school.
Self-satisfaction is the feeling you have when you are self-satisfied. n-uncount
He tried hard not to smile in smug self-satisfaction.
If you describe someone as self-satisfied, you mean that they are too pleased with themselves about their achievements or their situation and they think that nothing better is possible. adj
She handed the cigar back to Jason with a self-satisfied smile.
If you describe someone as self-seeking, you disapprove of them because they are interested only in doing things which give them an advantage over other people. adj
He said that democracy would open the way for self-seeking politicians to abuse the situation.
A self-service shop, restaurant, or garage is one where you get things for yourself rather than being served by another person. adj
If you describe someone as self-serving, you are critical of them because they are only interested in what they can get for themselves. adj
...corrupt, self-serving politicians.
1 adj An object or structure that is self-standing is not supported by other objects or structures.
...self-standing plastic cases.
2 adj A company or organization that is self-standing is independent of other companies or organizations. (BUSINESS)
Five separate companies, all operating as self-standing units, are now one.
Self-study is study that you do on your own, without a teacher. n-uncount oft N n
Individuals can enrol on self-study courses in the university's language institute.
If you describe someone as a self-styled leader or expert, you disapprove of them because they claim to be a leader or expert but they do not actually have the right to call themselves this. adj ADJ n (disapproval)
Two of those arrested are said to be self-styled area commanders...
Self-sufficiency is the state of being self-sufficient. n-uncount
1 adj If a country or group is self-sufficient, it is able to produce or make everything that it needs.
usu v-link ADJ
This enabled the country to become self-sufficient in sugar..., Using traditional methods poor farmers can be virtually self-sufficient.
2 adj Someone who is self-sufficient is able to live happily without anyone else.
Although she had various boyfriends, Madeleine was, and remains, fiercely self-sufficient...
Self-supporting is used to describe organizations, schemes, and people who earn enough money to not need financial help from anyone else. adj
The income from visitors makes the museum self-supporting...
A self-sustaining process or system is able to continue by itself without anyone or anything else becoming involved. adj
Asia's emerging economies will be on a self-sustaining cycle of growth...
If you are self-taught, you have learned a skill by yourself rather than being taught it by someone else such as a teacher at school. adj
...a self-taught musician.
Someone's self-will is their determination to do what they want without caring what other people think. n-uncount
She had a little core of self-will.
Someone who is self-willed is determined to do the things that they want to do and will not take advice from other people. adj
He was very independent and self-willed.
Self-worth is the feeling that you have good qualities and have achieved good things. n-uncount
Try not to link your sense of self-worth to the opinions of others.