self-ex·​plan·​a·​to·​ry ˌself-ik-ˈspla-nə-ˌtȯr-ē How to pronounce self-explanatory (audio)
: explaining itself : capable of being understood without explanation

Examples of self-explanatory in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Filmmakers selected for the festival’s self-explanatory Jio MAMI Select – Filmed on iPhone initiative include Archana Atul Phadke, Faraz Ali, Prateek Vats, Saurav Rai and Saumyananda Sahi. Naman Ramachandran, Variety, 3 Nov. 2023 Finally, the last choice is fairly self-explanatory. Kyle Denis, Billboard, 12 Oct. 2023 This coffee maker was very self-explanatory after reading the directions one time through: The control panel is very easy to read and shows ounces, cups, and single-serve brew options. Rennie Dyball, Peoplemag, 22 Sep. 2023 The wines themselves are quite approachable, although the list is sometimes less than self-explanatory. Pete Wells, New York Times, 19 Sep. 2023 The minimalist control panel was simple for us to get started with, and the buttons felt self-explanatory. Rennie Dyball, Peoplemag, 19 Sep. 2023 The idea is pretty self-explanatory: Make zero waste—or as little as possible. Melissa Breyer, Treehugger, 29 Aug. 2023 For anyone who watched Stanford’s play at the line of scrimmage in recent years, Deatrick’s presence on this list should be self-explanatory. 12. Jon Wilner | , oregonlive, 28 Aug. 2023 While the name seems self-explanatory, there's more than meets the eye to this bedding essential. Kate McGregor, House Beautiful, 13 Aug. 2023 See More

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

1737, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-explanatory was in 1737

Dictionary Entries Near self-explanatory

Cite this Entry

“Self-explanatory.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 9 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: understandable without explanation

More from Merriam-Webster on self-explanatory

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