: made such by one's own actions
especially : having achieved success or prominence by one's own efforts
a self-made man

Examples of self-made in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web So the drinks and parties and vacations and boat trips, or finally being able to settle down in that place by the beach, became consolations for past troubles — even if those troubles were self-made. Jon Pareles, New York Times, 2 Sep. 2023 Burton’s book reads largely as a cautionary tale about complacently accepting the myth of being self-made. Rhoda Feng, BostonGlobe.com, 29 June 2023 The 16-year-old runs her own multiplatform empire, forging a path for a new kind of child star — one who is self-made, self-grown and only then turning to Hollywood to unlock another level of success. Seija Rankin, The Hollywood Reporter, 7 June 2023 Collaborativeness In a real sense, no one is self-made. Abiola Salami, Forbes, 4 May 2023

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

1555, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-made was in 1555

Dictionary Entries Near self-made

Cite this Entry

“Self-made.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-made. Accessed 5 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition


: made by one's own actions
: raised from poverty by one's own efforts
a self-made person

More from Merriam-Webster on self-made

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