self-sus·​tain·​ing ˌself-sə-ˈstā-niŋ How to pronounce self-sustaining (audio)
: maintaining or able to maintain oneself or itself by independent effort
a self-sustaining community
: maintaining or able to maintain itself once commenced
a self-sustaining nuclear reaction

Examples of self-sustaining in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In addition to its momentum and self-sustaining nature, drive has another advantage over motivation: It can be developed and strengthened over time. Ryan McGrath, Forbes, 27 Mar. 2023 Significantly, some states had self-sustaining populations of wild turkeys that could serve as seed stock. Paul A. Smith, Journal Sentinel, 16 Mar. 2023 Like self-sustaining fusion power and full self-driving cars, in the last decade virtual reality (VR) has joined the ranks of technology not quite living up to its promise. Sarah Wells, Popular Mechanics, 15 Mar. 2023 Here, design is paired with community-conscious programming, inviting and encouraging the museum’s immediate neighbors to learn about self-sustaining agricultural practices in a fun, safe environment. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, 8 Mar. 2023 Criticality occurs when enough neutrons hit enough other fissile uranium atoms to create a self-sustaining nuclear reaction. Michael Koziol, IEEE Spectrum, 1 June 2018 But Chinese leaders are trying to avoid reigniting a rise in debt and want to nurture self-sustaining growth based on consumption instead of exports and investment. Joe McDonald, ajc, 5 Mar. 2023 Greenleaf says part of recovery includes increasing genetic diversity so the wolves can achieve a self-sustaining population. Jake Frederico, The Arizona Republic, 1 Mar. 2023 If your offering isn’t economically viable, then your project wouldn’t be able to turn into a self-sustaining business. Abdo Riani, Forbes, 23 Feb. 2023 See More

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

1797, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-sustaining was in 1797

Dictionary Entries Near self-sustaining

Cite this Entry

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

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