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[self-wil, self-] /ˌsɛlfˈwɪl, ˈsɛlf-/
stubborn or obstinate willfulness, as in pursuing one's own wishes, aims, etc.
Origin of self-will
before 900; Middle English: one's own will, stubbornness; Old English: one's own will; see self, will2
Related forms
self-willed, adjective
self-willedly, adverb
self-willedness, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for self-will
Historical Examples
  • Pride and self-will were at work; their vows and promises were false.

  • self-will is, from the religious point of view, the form of all temptation.

    Practical Ethics William DeWitt Hyde
  • Those lines of self-will about the eyes and mouth surely meant something.

    By What Authority? Robert Hugh Benson
  • In man, self has possession, and self-will the mastery, and there is no room for God.

    Holy in Christ Andrew Murray
  • Once more she recovered, her self-will being so great, and she began the lines of the epilogue.

  • Stay one moment, and you shall know what your pride and self-will have cost you!

    The Guardian Angel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • I was brought up just to please myself and to have my own way—to be, in fact, a little incarnation of self-will and selfishness.

    Working in the Shade Theodore P Wilson
  • There is music in heaven, because in music there is no self-will.

    Daily Thoughts Charles Kingsley
  • His prominent characteristic was will,—will carried to self-will, and sometimes to self-exaggeration almost furious.

  • He has resolved upon the divorce as much from self-will as from any other consideration.

    Windsor Castle William Harrison Ainsworth
British Dictionary definitions for self-will


stubborn adherence to one's own will, desires, etc, esp at the expense of others
Derived Forms
self-willed, adjective
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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