self-crit·​i·​cism ˌself-ˈkri-tə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce self-criticism (audio)
plural self-criticisms
: the act of or capacity for criticizing one's own faults or shortcomings
To impress friends and potential employers, avoid complimenting yourself and trying to disguise it as self-criticism.Shana Lebowitz
… he's learned discipline, beneficial self-criticism … and the ability to develop a regimen in his day-to-day life.Hillary Gavan

Examples of self-criticism in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Intense feelings of self-doubt, self-criticism and self-sabotage can feel as if your brain is picking you apart. Mark Travers, Forbes, 28 Mar. 2024 But sometimes, self-criticism is necessary to make peace. Dominic Tierney, Foreign Affairs, 25 Mar. 2024 This practice allows individuals to approach their own vulnerability with understanding and acceptance, helping to mitigate feelings of self-criticism and discomfort. Mark Travers, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Marxism promotes self-criticism, and when applied to real politics has tended to lead to purges. Rana Mitter, Foreign Affairs, 20 Feb. 2024 Other facets might take more time to develop, such as nourishing supportive relationships, building skills for tolerating distress and regulating emotions, meditation, incorporating spirituality or religion and practicing less self-criticism and more self-compassion. Rachel Goldsmith Turow, Discover Magazine, 8 Jan. 2024 Jenkins recalled hating the unrelenting scrutiny and self-criticism sessions, an indoctrination ritual in which citizens reprimand themselves for failing to live up to Kim’s ideology. Francine Uenuma, Smithsonian Magazine, 4 Jan. 2024 If Evangelicalism were immune from self-criticism, that would indeed be a major problem. Andrew T. Walker, National Review, 31 Dec. 2023 Alam’s blend of optimism and self-criticism is relatable to any of us who fantasize about the new and improved version of ourselves that awaits us on the other side of the ball drop. Lauren Mechling, Vogue, 29 Dec. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-criticism.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1780, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-criticism was in 1780

Dictionary Entries Near self-criticism

Cite this Entry

“Self-criticism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 May. 2024.

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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