[ self-wil, self- ]
See synonyms for: self-willself-wills on

  1. stubborn or obstinate willfulness, as in pursuing one's own wishes, aims, etc.

Origin of self-will

before 900; Middle English: one's own will, stubbornness; Old English: one's own will; see self, will2

Other words from self-will

  • self-willed, adjective
  • self-willedly, adverb
  • self-willedness, noun

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

How to use self-will in a sentence

  • Desertion doesn't mean a sea of water between, it means an ocean of self-will and love-me-first between.

  • The fact that he was a son was of no avail to him in the "far country," in the place of self-will and self-management.

    Separation and Service | James Hudson Taylor
  • The consequences of self-will do not always pass away as quickly as we hope and expect.

  • She is trying to rush him, he puts it to himself; and the thought rouses all his own obstinacy and self-will.

    Six Women | Victoria Cross
  • After these offences of self-will and vanity Tom Taylor finds us some other little thing—I think it is inaccuracy.

    Ceres' Runaway | Alice Meynell

British Dictionary definitions for self-will


  1. stubborn adherence to one's own will, desires, etc, esp at the expense of others

Derived forms of self-will

  • self-willed, adjective

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