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[self-ik-splan-uh-tawr-ee, -tohr-ee, self-] /ˈsɛlf ɪkˈsplæn əˌtɔr i, -ˌtoʊr i, ˌsɛlf-/
explaining itself; needing no explanation; obvious.
Also, self-explaining
[self-ik-spley-ning, self-] /ˈsɛlf ɪkˈspleɪ nɪŋ, ˌsɛlf-/ (Show IPA)
Origin of self-explanatory
First recorded in 1895-1900 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for self-explanatory
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Then there is a "two-day stand" and a "one-night stand," which are self-explanatory.

  • The second method of committing the slicing sin is self-explanatory.

  • Not a bad-looking woman, of a sort, but not self-explanatory.

    It Never Can Happen Again

    William De Morgan
  • In our economic experience, no more than elsewhere, is satisfaction an ultimate and self-explanatory term.

    Creative Intelligence John Dewey, Addison W. Moore, Harold Chapman Brown, George H. Mead, Boyd H. Bode, Henry Waldgrave, Stuart James, Hayden Tufts, Horace M. Kallen
  • The name is self-explanatory and suggests a well-colored meerschaum.

    The Complete Book of Cheese Robert Carlton Brown
  • This is indicated in Fig. 11, which, otherwise, is self-explanatory.

  • I think that Cadigan Exhibits Nos. 16, 17, and 18 are self-explanatory.

    Warren Commission (7 of 26): Hearings Vol. VII (of 15) The President's Commission on the Assassination of President Kennedy
  • To a statesman of Hanley's astuteness, the largeness of Livingstone's contribution to the campaign fund was self-explanatory.

    The Consul Richard Harding Davis
British Dictionary definitions for self-explanatory


understandable without explanation; self-evident
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for self-explanatory

1813, from self- + explanatory.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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