self-defeating

adjective

self-de·​feat·​ing ˌself-di-ˈfē-tiŋ How to pronounce self-defeating (audio)
-dē-
: serving or tending to defeat oneself or itself : counterproductive: such as
a
: acting to defeat its own purpose
a self-defeating argument
You kind of realize that violence can be a self-defeating strategy, because it just gives the other guy an incentive to attack you back in revenge. Stephen Pinker
b
: being or involving an attitude of defeatism
Procrastinators tend to be more stressed than other people—even before they start procrastinating. According to a recent study, that's possibly because they have self-defeating thoughts like, "I'm simply too stupid to benefit from more studying, so I'll just hang out on Facebook." Shana Lebowitz

Word History

First Known Use

1812, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-defeating was in 1812

Dictionary Entries Near self-defeating

Cite this Entry

“Self-defeating.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-defeating. Accessed 9 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

self-defeating

adjective
self-de·​feat·​ing
ˌself-di-ˈfēt-iŋ
: acting to defeat its own purpose
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