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[self-di-nahy-uh l, self-] /ˈsɛlf dɪˈnaɪ əl, ˌsɛlf-/
the sacrifice of one's own desires; unselfishness.
an act or instance of restraining or curbing one's desires:
To reduce, one has to practice self-denial at the dinner table.
Origin of self-denial
Related forms
self-denying, adjective
self-denyingly, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for self-denial
  • So they choose self-indulgence instead of self-denial and self-esteem instead of self-questioning.
  • She found something saintly and crazed in his undertaking, an element of self-denial, an element of penance.
  • His definition of fun blends self-denial and self-indulgence, and a will to perfection.
  • Her self-denial gifted her with a long, if severe life.
  • But many undoubtedly succeed in their lifetime project of service and self-denial, doing much good and no harm.
  • He inured himself to the practice of self-denial, sobriety, and mortification from his tender years.
  • Such was his self-denial that he seldom or ever ate bread.
British Dictionary definitions for self-denial


the denial or sacrifice of one's own desires
Derived Forms
self-denying, adjective
self-denyingly, adverb
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for self-denial

1640s, from self- + denial.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Difficulty index for self-denial

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Word Value for self

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Quotes with self-denial