self-val·​i·​dat·​ing ˌself-ˈva-lə-ˌdā-tiŋ How to pronounce self-validating (audio)
: validating itself : needing no guarantee or judgment of its validity outside of itself
An emotion is self-validating when it communicates information to the self … (e.g., one feels angry because the situation is unjust and, therefore, one has good reason to be angry). Robert L. Leahy et al.
… the Pulitzer business … is a self-validating ritual whereby journalists give each other prizes and then boast to the public about them. Alexander Cockburn
also : of, relating to, or involving something that is self-validating
a self-validating cycle
: tending or serving to recognize, confirm, or establish one's own worthiness or legitimacy : providing self-validation
a self-validating experience
Earning that win can also feel self-validating. Ritika Trikha
How we choose to interpret what happens in our lives—the stories we tell to ourselves and others—color how we experience life. It's time to tell a new, more accepting and self-validating story. Kathy Caprino

Word History

First Known Use

1888, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-validating was in 1888

Dictionary Entries Near self-validating

Cite this Entry

“Self-validating.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 4 Dec. 2022.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

The Great British Vocabulary Quiz

  • union jack speech bubble
  • Named after Sir Robert Peel, what are British police called?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.