self-ref·​er·​ence | \ ˌself-ˈre-fərn(t)s How to pronounce self-reference (audio) , -ˈre-f(ə-)rən(t)s \
plural self-references

Definition of self-reference

: the act or an instance of referring or alluding to oneself or itself … their discourse can become dominated by words expressing confidence, like … self-reference that can favour the "royal we" over "I."— Peter Garrard The conventional wisdom was that sitcoms should hit the reset button every week, so as not to confuse or alienate nonregular viewers. But Seinfeld's obsessive self-references earned it the loyal audience that was key to its success …— Daniel Bettridge specifically : reference or allusion by a literary or artistic work to the mental attitudes and creative processes that brought it into existence Such dumbly resistant objects might seem like arid exercises in postmodern self-reference—photographs about photography, as it were … — Andrew Graham-Dixon

Other Words from self-reference

self-referential \ ˌself-​ˌre-​fə-​ˈren(t)-​shəl How to pronounce self-reference (audio) \ adjective
Also, Lady Gaga's self-referential comment about wardrobe came off way too hammy … — Mike Ryan There's a lot of silly fourth wall breaking, sarcasm and self-referential comedy … — Patrick Doyle
self-referentiality \ ˌself-​ˌre-​fə-​ˌren(t)-​shē-​ˈa-​lə-​tē How to pronounce self-reference (audio) \ noun
… the pretentious and tiresome self-referentiality (as in "Author here. Meaning the real author …") — Stephen Marche

First Known Use of self-reference

1818, in the meaning defined above

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The first known use of self-reference was in 1818

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Cite this Entry

“Self-reference.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 22 Sep. 2021.

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