self-harm

noun
\ ˌself-ˈhärm How to pronounce self-harm (audio) \

Definition of self-harm

: the act of purposely hurting oneself (as by cutting or burning the skin) as an emotional coping mechanism Although most cutters are young women who have been emotionally, sexually, or physically abused as children, [Marilee] Strong's research shows that this specific type of self-harm also appears in other groups.— Maria Simson et al.

called also self-injury, self-multilation

Other Words from self-harm

self-harm intransitive verb self-harmed; self-harming; self-harms
teenagers who self-harm

First Known Use of self-harm

1983, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about self-harm

Time Traveler for self-harm

Time Traveler

The first known use of self-harm was in 1983

See more words from the same year

Statistics for self-harm

Cite this Entry

“Self-harm.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-harm. Accessed 19 Jan. 2021.

Comments on self-harm

What made you want to look up self-harm? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

Test Your Vocabulary

Words of Snow and Ice Quiz

  • image1037863653
  • Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Typeshift

Anagram puzzles meet word search.

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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