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[self-suh-fish-uh nt, self-] /ˈsɛlf səˈfɪʃ ənt, ˌsɛlf-/
able to supply one's own or its own needs without external assistance:
The nation grows enough grain to be self-sufficient.
having extreme confidence in one's own resources, powers, etc.:
He was self-sufficient, and always reminded you of it.
Also, self-sufficing
[self-suh-fahy-sing] /ˌsɛlf səˈfaɪ sɪŋ/ (Show IPA)
Origin of self-sufficient
Related forms
self-sufficiency, noun
self-sufficiently, adverb
unself-sufficiency, noun
unself-sufficient, adjective
unself-sufficiently, adverb Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for self-sufficiency
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Accompanying ambition is a group of less admirable qualities, such as self-sufficiency and self-conceit.

  • "You have evolved all this from your own spiritual pride and self-sufficiency," said he, hotly.

    The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro
  • It was in part a pride of accomplishment and a new affirmation of the self-sufficiency of the questing reason.

  • His self-sufficiency was proof against anything of that sort.

    Cap'n Warren's Wards Joseph C. Lincoln
  • The hand cannot say to the head, I have no need of thee, nor can the head utter the like speech of egotism and self-sufficiency.

    The Bible and Life Edwin Holt Hughes
British Dictionary definitions for self-sufficiency


able to provide for or support oneself without the help of others
Derived Forms
self-sufficiency, noun
self-sufficiently, 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-sufficiency

1620s, originally an attribute of God (translating Greek autakreia), from self- + sufficiency. Of mortals, self-sufficient "able to supply one's own needs" is recorded from 1580s.



"able to supply one's own needs," 1580s, from self- + sufficient. Related: Self-sufficiently.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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