View synonyms for self-help


[ self-help, self- ]


  1. the act of providing for or helping or the ability to provide for or help oneself without assistance from others.
  2. Law. the act or right of remedying a wrong, without resorting to legal proceedings.
  3. the acquiring of information or the solving of one's problems, especially those of a psychological nature, without the direct supervision of professionals or experts, as by independent reading or by joining or forming lay groups that are devoted to one's interests or goals.


  1. of or relating to a book, article, home study course, or the like, offering an individual information or counseling intended to be personally beneficial or profitable:

    self-help books on overcoming shyness.



  1. the act or state of providing the means to help oneself without relying on the assistance of others
    1. the practice of solving one's problems by joining or forming a group designed to help those suffering from a particular problem
    2. ( as modifier )

      a self-help group

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Other Words From

  • self-helper noun
  • self-helpful self-helping adjective
  • self-helpful·ness noun

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Word History and Origins

Origin of self-help1

First recorded in 1825–35

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Example Sentences

It combines pickup techniques supposedly inspired by evolutionary psychology with self-help pseudoscience.

Bookstores are stocked with self-help books telling girls how to bag a millionaire.

I feel for the writer, Ed Docx, (author of the brilliant novel Self Help).

Sure, there is an array of “self-help” guides available in the world.

Anderson says some of the men who come to his self-help organization have waited over 60 years to reveal their abuse.

Oh, what power ever made us so tender, so incapable of self-help, as to have us undergo and feel such terrific suffering!

The spirit of independence or self-help is the one thing necessary.

Excellent Victory indeed; sharp striking, swift self-help on our part.

The individualist virtue of 'self-help' was not confined to successful money-making or to the wealthier classes.

Side by side with this self-help there has long existed a comprehensive system of free mutual help.


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[ak-suh-lot-l ]

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