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[self-guhv-ern-muh nt, -er-muh nt, self-] /ˌsɛlfˈgʌv ərn mənt, -ər mənt, ˈsɛlf-/
control of the government of a state, community, or other body by its own members; democratic government.
the condition of being self-governed.
Origin of self-government
1725-35 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for self-government
  • But all this majestic advance should not obscure the constant dangers from which self-government must be safeguarded.
  • It was tempered to their hands by more than a century's schooling in self-government.
  • There is no event since the nation was born which has so proved its solid capacity for self-government.
  • self-government is unimaginable without self-defence.
  • They have extended the opportunity of self-government to peoples that have suffered tyranny and war.
  • The county central committees are autonomous legal bodies vested with the power of self-government, which is supreme in its field.
  • He believed that self-government depended on the free, unhampered pursuit of truth by an informed and involved citizenry.
  • Generations of self-government and widespread property ownership had a leveling effect on society.
British Dictionary definitions for self-government


the government of a country, nation, etc, by its own people
the state of being self-controlled
an archaic term for self-control
Derived Forms
self-governed, adjective
self-governing, adjective
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-government

1734, of persons; 1798, of states, from self- + government. Related: Self-governing (1680s).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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