self-dif·​fer·​en·​ti·​a·​tion ˌself-ˌdi-fə-ˌren(t)-shē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce self-differentiation (audio)
plural self-differentiations
: an act or instance of differentiating the self : a setting apart of oneself as distinct from others (such as one's family or classmates)
In this new biography, he sets out to persuade us that Cézanne embarked as a young man on a project of self-definition and self-differentiation.Frances Spalding
self-differentiate intransitive verb
self-differentiated; self-differentiating; self-differentiates
the ability to self-differentiate
self-differentiating experiences

Word History

First Known Use

1872, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-differentiation was in 1872

Dictionary Entries Near self-differentiation

Cite this Entry

“Self-differentiation.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Apr. 2024.

Medical Definition


self-dif·​fer·​en·​ti·​a·​tion -ˌdif-ə-ˌren-chē-ˈā-shən How to pronounce self-differentiation (audio)
: differentiation of a structure or tissue due to factors existent in itself and essentially independent of other parts of the developing organism
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