Try Our Apps


Avoid these words. Seriously.


[self-prez-er-vey-shuh n, self-] /ˈsɛlfˌprɛz ərˈveɪ ʃən, ˌsɛlf-/
preservation of oneself from harm or destruction.
Origin of self-preservation
First recorded in 1605-15
Related forms
self-preserving, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
Cite This Source
Examples from the Web for self-preservation
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Here is nature once more at her old game of self-preservation.

    Monday or Tuesday Virginia Woolf
  • He was savage justice and the law of self-preservation personified.

    Murder Point

    Coningsby Dawson
  • It was the instinct of self-preservation that gave him inspiration to accomplish it.

    The Gaunt Gray Wolf Dillon Wallace
  • They are self-preservation and the perpetuation of the species.

    The Paliser case Edgar Saltus
  • Therefore she uses the right which she reserved—the right of self-preservation.

    The Long Roll Mary Johnston
British Dictionary definitions for self-preservation


the preservation of oneself from danger or injury, esp as a basic instinct
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
Cite This Source
Word Origin and History for self-preservation

1610s, from self- + preservation. First attested in Donne.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source

Word of the Day

Nearby words for self-preservation

Word Value for self

Scrabble Words With Friends