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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. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for self-will
Historical Examples
  • We came away by means of greeds and curiosities imagined by self-will.

    The Prodigal Returns Lilian Staveley
  • But first must come the abandonment of self-will, bit by bit, to the death.

    The Prodigal Returns Lilian Staveley
  • I wish that I could suffer alone for my self-will and imprudence.

    The Rambles of a Rat

    A. L. O. E.
  • There is music in heaven, because in music there is no self-will.

    Daily Thoughts Charles Kingsley
  • Pray to them, indeed, we need not, as if they would help us out of any self-will of their own.

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

    Practical Ethics William DeWitt Hyde
  • In man, self has possession, and self-will the mastery, and there is no room for God.

    Holy in Christ Andrew Murray
  • Stay one moment, and you shall know what your pride and self-will have cost you!

    The Guardian Angel Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.
  • The cook, sir, is self-will'd, and will not learn From my experience.

  • And if I had, how my self-will, and pride, and jealousy would have grown!

    Heartsease Charlotte M. Yonge
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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