: 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
: the act of purposely hurting oneself (as by cutting or burning the skin) as an emotional coping mechanism : self-harm
- … 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
- … the terrible incidence of self-mutilation, or cutting, particularly among young girls.
- —Judy Quinn