self-un·​der·​stand·​ing ˌself-ˌən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ How to pronounce self-understanding (audio)
plural self-understandings
: understanding of oneself: such as
: knowledge or understanding of one's own capabilities, character, feelings, or motivations : self-knowledge
human self-understanding
gaining a greater sense of self-understanding
… while I can't choose what I feel, I do have sway over how I understand my feelings and that self-understanding can modify and sculpt those feelings … Gordon Marino
: one's conception of oneself especially as part of a group
Central to our national self-understanding is the idea that hard work pays off. Las Vegas Sun
… the attempt to put religion into a box fails to give adequate regard to the self-understanding of those religious groups … Eduardo M. Penalver
… the studies … show that adoptive parents play an important role in supporting their children's ethnic and cultural self-understanding. Anndee Hochman
… people should be free to reach their own self-understandings when it comes their status as victims (or non-victims). Brian D. Earp

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Word History

First Known Use

1608, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-understanding was in 1608

Dictionary Entries Near self-understanding

Cite this Entry

“Self-understanding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 29 Sep. 2022.

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