[self-em-ploid, self-]


earning one's living directly from one's own profession or business, as a freelance writer or artist, rather than as an employee earning salary or commission from another.

Origin of self-employed

First recorded in 1945–50 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-employed

Contemporary Examples of self-employed

  • According to the Freelancers Union, nearly one in three working Americans is now self-employed.

    The Daily Beast logo
    Basics Beware: We're All Girl Bosses Now

    Rachel Hills

    August 28, 2014

  • I'm self-employed, I max out my 401k, and have a nice emergency fund.

    The Daily Beast logo
    First World Financial Problems

    Megan McArdle

    March 11, 2013

  • Because they're self-employed, however, they have a tough time finding insurance.

    The Daily Beast logo
    How Would Health Care Affect You?

    Benjamin Sarlin

    December 22, 2009

  • Is it better or worse for the self-employed, for entrepreneurial startups, for your local synagogue, for your local community?

    The Daily Beast logo
    The GOP's New Populists

    John Avlon

    February 13, 2009

  • She knows women who were self-employed pro-dommes before the tech boom began.

    The Daily Beast logo

    Tracy Quan

    February 3, 2009

Historical Examples of self-employed

British Dictionary definitions for self-employed



earning one's living in one's own business or through freelance work, rather than as the employee of another
Derived Formsself-employment, noun
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