self-in·​ven·​tion | \ ˌself-in-ˈven-shən How to pronounce self-invention (audio) \
plural self-inventions

Definition of self-invention

: the act or an instance of inventing or creating one's identity or conception of oneself her self-invention as a pop star Bob Dylan has surpassed Walt Whitman as the defining American artist, celebrating the capacity for self-invention as the highest form of freedom.— Cass R. Sunstein … I've been poring online … over certain performances, interesting myself in those moments when [David] Bowie seems on the cusp of one of his celebrated self-inventions— Brian Dillon

First Known Use of self-invention

1914, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of self-invention was in 1914

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Cite this Entry

“Self-invention.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Aug. 2020.

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