self-in·​ju·​ry ˌself-ˈinj-rē How to pronounce self-injury (audio)
: injury to one's own body
The dog's excessive licking led to self-injury.
especially : the act of purposely hurting oneself (as by cutting or burning the skin) as an emotional coping mechanism : self-harm
The most common forms of self-injury include cutting, burning, punching or banging oneself. … These techniques provide a sense of calm from overwhelming feelings, but the momentary relief is followed by feelings of guilt and shame. The Reporter (Fond du Lac, Wisconsin)
self-injurious adjective
In this trial, risperidone was safe and effective for the short-term treatment of tantrums, aggression, and self-injurious behavior in children with autistic disorder. The New England Journal of Medicine
self-injure intransitive verb
self-injured; self-injuring; self-injures
Sufferers have traditionally been met with disgust by doctors, who find their self-injuring offensive. Tamala M. Edwards

Word History

First Known Use

1864, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-injury was in 1864

Dictionary Entries Near self-injury

Cite this Entry

“Self-injury.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 Nov. 2022.

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