self-un·​der·​stand·​ing | \ ˌself-ˌən-dər-ˈstan-diŋ How to pronounce self-understanding (audio) \
plural self-understandings

Definition of self-understanding

: understanding of oneself: such as
a : 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
b : 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

First Known Use of self-understanding

1608, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About self-understanding

Time Traveler for self-understanding

Time Traveler

The first known use of self-understanding was in 1608

See more words from the same year

Dictionary Entries Near self-understanding




See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for self-understanding

Cite this Entry

“Self-understanding.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Aug. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Farm Idioms Quiz

  • cow coming home
  • What does 'poke' refer to in the expression 'pig in a poke'?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!