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[self-ref-er-uh ns, -ref-ruh ns] /ˈsɛlfˈrɛf ər əns, -ˈrɛf rəns/
reference made to oneself, to one's own character or experience, or to a group with which one identifies.
Logic. the property of a statement that is a statement about itself, as “This statement is grammatical.”.
Related forms
[self-ref-uh-ren-shuh l] /ˈsɛlfˌrɛf əˈrɛn ʃəl/ (Show IPA),
[self-ri-fur-ing] /ˈsɛlf rɪˈfɜr ɪŋ/ (Show IPA),
self-referentially, adverb
Usage note
Social, ethnic, or other groups often use terms of self-reference in a neutral, even affectionate or jocular way, much like nicknames. These self-referential terms function to reinforce solidarity among members of the group. However, when used by outsiders, these very same terms are perceived as offensive by those who belong to the group. Examples of self-referential terms are Canuck, chick, dyke, geek, nigger, queer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for self-reference
Historical Examples
  • Hegel also grants to individual things a certain "self-reference," which constitutes them real existences.

    Nature Mysticism J. Edward Mercer
  • She takes so much interest in all these absorbing social problems,—interest so unassuming, so free from all self-reference.

    The Confounding of Camelia Anne Douglas Sedgwick

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