self-con·​tained | \ ˌself-kən-ˈtānd How to pronounce self-contained (audio) \

Definition of self-contained

1a : complete in itself : independent a self-contained machine a self-contained program of study
b : built-in a lectern with a self-contained light fixture
2a : showing self-control
b : formal and reserved in manner

Other Words from self-contained

self-containedly \ ˌself-​kən-​ˈtā-​nəd-​lē How to pronounce self-containedly (audio) , -​ˈtānd-​lē \ adverb
self-containedness \ ˌself-​kən-​ˈtā-​nəd-​nəs How to pronounce self-containedness (audio) , -​ˈtān(d)-​nəs \ noun
self-containment \ ˌself-​kən-​ˈtān-​mənt How to pronounce self-containment (audio) \ noun

First Known Use of self-contained

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about self-contained

Statistics for self-contained

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for self-contained

The first known use of self-contained was in 1605

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for self-contained



English Language Learners Definition of self-contained

: not requiring help or support from anyone or anything else : complete by itself
: tending to keep thoughts and feelings private and to deal with things without help from other people
British : having a kitchen and bathroom

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on self-contained

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with self-contained

Spanish Central: Translation of self-contained

Nglish: Translation of self-contained for Spanish Speakers

Comments on self-contained

What made you want to look up self-contained? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


providing supplementary assistance

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Syn City

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!