self-suf·​fi·​cient ˌself-sə-ˈfi-shənt How to pronounce self-sufficient (audio)
: able to maintain oneself or itself without outside aid : capable of providing for one's own needs
a self-sufficient farm
: having an extreme confidence in one's own ability or worth : haughty, overbearing

Examples of self-sufficient in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web This is a top option for someone looking to buy a piece of land, build a home, and set up a self-sufficient lifestyle, growing crops and harvesting water and solar energy. Kathleen Peddicord, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2024 These schools were meant to be as self-sufficient as possible, so students did a majority of the labor required to maintain the building, in addition to their classes. Kira Caspers, The Arizona Republic, 14 Feb. 2024 What if crisis-whammies Nordic drama producers would now tap into other European stories instead of staying in the Nordic bubble and self-sufficient eco-system of mixed national and regional private and public coin? Annika Pham, Variety, 3 Feb. 2024 Unplugged Nation, which premieres at 9 p.m. Wednesday on FYI, celebrates the rewards of leading a simplified, self-sufficient, disconnected lifestyle. David Martindale, Fort Worth Star-Telegram, 31 Jan. 2024 Clean Plates is an initiative under Homeless Court, which was created in 1988 to help homeless people already in programs clear fines that could keep them from becoming self-sufficient. Lauren J. Mapp, San Diego Union-Tribune, 25 Jan. 2024 Also on board are the hyper self-sufficient Robinson clan (yes, this is based on the Swiss Family Robinson), who try to get the Resolute back to where it’s intended. Randy Myers, The Mercury News, 25 Jan. 2024 From the outset, Soleimani sought to create a flexible network in which each constituent part of the axis was self-sufficient. Narges Bajoghli, Foreign Affairs, 17 Jan. 2024 How his early upbringing during the Great Depression molded him into a self-sufficient person. Reader Commentary, Baltimore Sun, 13 Jan. 2024 See More

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

1596, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-sufficient was in 1596

Dictionary Entries Near self-sufficient

Cite this Entry

“Self-sufficient.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


: able to take care of oneself without outside help : independent

More from Merriam-Webster on self-sufficient

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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