self-ex·​e·​cut·​ing ˌself-ˈek-sə-ˌkyü-tiŋ How to pronounce self-executing (audio)
: taking effect immediately without implementing legislation
a self-executing treaty

Examples of self-executing in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Smart contracts, self-executing contracts with the terms directly written into code, are fundamental to DeFi, automating processes and ensuring transparency. Ascend Agency, New York Daily News, 12 June 2024 Smart contracts, self-executing agreements on the blockchain, could be used to automate certain aspects of ownership transfer, like property taxes or inheritance processes. Nikita Sachdev, Forbes, 26 Feb. 2024 Built upon open-source blockchain technology, the platform makes creating self-executing smart contracts and Distributed Applications (dApps) possible, etching its pivotal role in this rapidly expanding industry. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 28 Jan. 2024 Even if the Griffin case did settle the self-executing question, critics ask, why has Section 3 been applied repeatedly since ratification without legislation from Congress? Henry Gass, The Christian Science Monitor, 18 Jan. 2024 His legal team claimed that the trial court lacked jurisdiction to consider the case because Section 3 is not self-executing and could only be enforced through an act of Congress. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 6 Dec. 2023 In that case, Chief Justice Salmon Chase, serving as the circuit judge who heard cases in Virginia, held that the text of Section 3 was not self-executing and therefore could only be enforced through an act of Congress. Melissa Quinn, CBS News, 13 Sep. 2023 And as Paulsen and Baude have argued, Section 3 is self-executing, meaning that no further action is needed by Congress or by state legislatures to give it legal force. Matt Ford, The New Republic, 8 Sep. 2023 In contrast, Ethereum transactions contain executable code for creating smart contracts or self-executing contracts and applications built on top of them. The Salt Lake Tribune, 9 Aug. 2023

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

1779, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-executing was in 1779

Dictionary Entries Near self-executing

Cite this Entry

“Self-executing.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 Jul. 2024.

Legal Definition


: taking effect immediately without the need for implementing legislation or further judicial action
a self-executing judgment
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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