[self-ak-choo-uh-luh-zey-shuh n, self-ak-]

noun Psychology.

the achievement of one's full potential through creativity, independence, spontaneity, and a grasp of the real world.

Origin of self-actualization

First recorded in 1935–40
Also called actualization. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-actualization

Contemporary Examples of self-actualization

  • Sometimes, jobs and paychecks come out ahead of self-actualization.

  • [P]rosperity and equality bring greater opportunities for self-actualization.

    The Daily Beast logo
    It's OK to 'Lean Back'

    David Frum

    March 19, 2013

  • If there was real empowerment behind princesses, they'd be a powerful tool for girls' self-actualization.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Pop Tarts!

    Marisa Meltzer

    February 15, 2010

Historical Examples of self-actualization

  • They bring something to the dialogue in which self-actualization occurs.

    Herein is Love

    Reuel L. Howe

  • But in the philosophy of Hegel religion is a part of God--a stage in the development or self-actualization of God.

    Christianity and Greek Philosophy

    Benjamin Franklin Cocker

British Dictionary definitions for self-actualization



psychol the process of establishing oneself as a whole person, able to develop one's abilities and to understand oneself
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

Word Origin and History for self-actualization

1939, from self- + actualization. Popularized, though not coined, by U.S. psychologist and philosopher Abraham H. Maslow (1908-1970).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper