self·​hood | \ ˈself-ˌhu̇d How to pronounce selfhood (audio) \

Definition of selfhood

2 : the quality or state of being selfish

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Examples of selfhood in a Sentence

he spent a year in a monastery determining the core of his selfhood

Recent Examples on the Web

There had never been enough of them to allow this luxury of blatant selfhood. Andrew Solomon, New York Times, "The First New York Pride March Was an Act of ‘Desperate Courage’," 27 June 2019 The movie backs gracefully into notions of identity and selfhood by playing them for ingenious slapstick. Ty Burr,, "‘Toy Story 4’ is a joy to watch," 19 June 2019 Drndić suggests that the desire for autonomous selfhood can only be driven underground—scattered and buried, but never erased. Merve Emre, The New York Review of Books, "‘Dismembered, Relocated, Rearranged’," 6 June 2019 But its irony doesn’t resonate — certainly not for kids in the Black Lives Matter audience whose cultural illiteracy impairs their sense of history and selfhood. Armond White, National Review, "Ma’s Black-Mammy Stereotypes Capture the Illiberal Spirit," 7 June 2019 Begin to feel into the edges and fences, and notice which feel like important maintenance maneuvers to safeguard a selfhood that’s for you and you alone, and which have actually become impediments to growth. Bess Matassa, Teen Vogue, "Weekly Horoscopes Aug 6-12," 6 Aug. 2012 The show has four central characters — Earn; Alfred; Darius; and Earn’s sometimes ex-girlfriend, Van — who veer in and out of friendship, selfhood, personal clarity and, often, the show itself. Wesley Morris, New York Times, "‘Atlanta’ Skips a Grade," 11 May 2018 Or, in my case: the fabulous anti-heroine of my own journey into Carrie’s idiosyncratic selfhood. Julia Felsenthal, Vogue, "Confessions of a Recovering Wannabe Carrie Bradshaw," 5 June 2018 What if the crux of the moment — really since 2008 — is a matter of selfhood and representation and political correctives? Manohla Dargis, A.o. Scott And Wesley Morris, New York Times, "#MeToo, Harvey Weinstein and Awkward TV: Our Critics Talk Oscars," 5 Mar. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'selfhood.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of selfhood

1568, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for selfhood

Last Updated

11 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for selfhood

The first known use of selfhood was in 1568

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More Definitions for selfhood



English Language Learners Definition of selfhood

: the quality that makes a person or thing different from others

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More from Merriam-Webster on selfhood

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with selfhood

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for selfhood

Nglish: Translation of selfhood for Spanish Speakers

Comments on selfhood

What made you want to look up selfhood? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


an act or instance of editing or removing

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