- a combining form of self and variously used with the meanings “of the self” (self-analysis) and “by oneself or itself” (self-appointed); and with the meanings “to, with, toward, for, on, in oneself” (self-complacent), “inherent in oneself or itself” (self-explanatory), “independent” (self-government), and “automatic” (self-operating).
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- of oneself or itselfself-defence; self-rule
- by, to, in, due to, for, or from the selfself-employed; self-inflicted; self-respect
- automatic or automaticallyself-propelled
Word Origin and History for self-
word forming element indicating "oneself," also "automatic," from Old English use of self (pron.) in compounds, e.g. selfbana "suicide," selflice "self-love, pride, vanity, egotism," selfwill "free will."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper