self-harm

noun
\ˌself-ˈhärm \

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

Statistics for self-harm

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for self-harm

The first known use of self-harm was in 1983

See more words from the same year

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

by force of circumstances

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Difficult Vocab Quiz

  • the-education-of-achilles-eugne-delacroix
  • Which is a synonym of discomfit?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

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!