self-di·​rect·​ed ˌself-də-ˈrek-təd How to pronounce self-directed (audio)
: directed for or by oneself
self-directed retirement plans
self-directed classroom activities
a self-directed performance
: directed at oneself
self-directed anger
: directing oneself or capable of directing oneself
empowering students to become self-directed learners

Examples of self-directed in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web On Mondays, those students will have schoolwork to complete, but that work will be self-directed. Cameron Knight, USA TODAY, 21 Mar. 2023 The video, which Swift wrote and self-directed, features a two-minute comedy sketch about her own funeral. Stephanie Kaloi, Peoplemag, 17 Mar. 2023 Most mutual fund companies and brokers say their IRAs are self-directed. Bob Carlson, Forbes, 19 Feb. 2023

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-directed.' 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

1742, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-directed was in 1742

Dictionary Entries Near self-directed

Cite this Entry

“Self-directed.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


: directed by oneself and not by an outside force or agency
a self-directed personality

More from Merriam-Webster on self-directed

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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