self-mutilation

noun self-mu·ti·la·tion \ ˌself-ˌmyü-tə-ˈlā-shən \

Definition of self-mutilation

: the act of inflicting injury or disfigurement to one's own body
  • The original wound reopened and became dangerously infected, and yet this classic display of canine self-mutilation continued.
  • Dog Watch
  • But there seem to be, nevertheless, very few cases of actual cowardice. Of these, the majority involve self-mutilation by conscripts, in an attempt to be invalided out of the Army.
  • —Carey Schofield
  • … a Los Angeles Superior Court judge on Tuesday ordered the state to pay for the private care of a 19-year- old man suffering from a rare neurological disorder that prompts violent bouts of self-mutilation.
  • —Claudia Puig
specifically : the act of purposely hurting oneself (as by cutting or burning the skin) as an emotional coping mechanism : self-harm
  • … the terrible incidence of self-mutilation, or cutting, particularly among young girls.
  • —Judy Quinn

self-mutilate

intransitive verb self-mutilated; self-mutilating; self-mutilates
    • self-mutilating behavior

First Known Use of self-mutilation

1637

in the meaning defined above

See Words from the same year
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Medical Dictionary

self-mutilation

noun self-mu·ti·la·tion \ -ˌmyüt-ə-ˈlā-shən \

medical Definition of self-mutilation

: injury or disfigurement of oneself
  • self-mutilation associated with the Lesch-Nyhan syndrome

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