[self-pit-ee, self-]


pity for oneself, especially a self-indulgent attitude concerning one's own difficulties, hardships, etc.: We must resist yielding to self-pity and carry on as best we can.

Origin of self-pity

First recorded in 1615–25
Related formsself-pit·y·ing, adjectiveself-pit·y·ing·ly, adverb Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-pity

Contemporary Examples of self-pity

Historical Examples of self-pity

  • Self-pity is the surest, yet the most insidious foe to self-poise.

    The Dominant Strain

    Anna Chapin Ray

  • At midnight she tossed it aside and with self-pity prepared to go to sleep.

    The Gorgeous Girl

    Nalbro Bartley

  • There was no trace of nervousness, or of tears, or self-pity.

    The Treasure Trail

    Marah Ellis Ryan

  • In humiliation there may be self-pity and that is always degrading.

    The Paliser case

    Edgar Saltus

  • "You'll be sorry when I'm dead," said Sarah, her voice plaintive with self-pity.


    Josephine Lawrence

British Dictionary definitions for self-pity



the act or state of pitying oneself, esp in an exaggerated or self-indulgent manner
Derived Formsself-pitying, adjectiveself-pityingly, adverb
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-pity

1620s, from self- + pity (n.). Related: Self-pitying.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper