[ self-i-feys-muhnt, self- ]
See synonyms for self-effacement on
  1. the act or fact of keeping oneself in the background, as in humility.

Origin of self-effacement

First recorded in 1865–70

Other words from self-effacement

  • self-ef·fac·ing, adjective
  • self-ef·fac·ing·ly, adverb
  • self-ef·fac·ing·ness, noun

Words Nearby self-effacement Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use self-effacement in a sentence

  • Somehow, their self-effacement in his behalf touched him more keenly than anything else had done during this troubled period.

    The Pillar of Light | Louis Tracy
  • His self-effacement strengthened the position of the legate.

  • At half-past ten Tibby, with rare self-effacement, fell asleep, and Margaret was able to drive her aunt to the station.

    Howards End | E. M. Forster

British Dictionary definitions for self-effacement


  1. the act of making oneself, one's actions, etc, inconspicuous, esp because of humility or timidity

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