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[self-prez-er-vey-shuh n, self-] /ˈsɛlfˌprɛz ərˈveɪ ʃən, ˌsɛlf-/
preservation of oneself from harm or destruction.
Origin of self-preservation
Related forms
self-preserving, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for self-preservation
  • But for him, lists were a part of self-preservation.
  • self-preservation has mission creep when it comes to the final mortal moment.
  • It will not be beholden to tiny parties whose only concern is the self-preservation of their bosses.
  • Usually, self-preservation overcomes valour, and towns and villages fall without a fight.
  • Despite the strains, the coalition's sense of self-preservation is strong.
  • They imply that lawyers' objections are motivated by self-preservation as much as by ethical scruples.
  • Or maybe the utilitarian considerations make it easier to justify self-preservation.
  • They are being misused, but that does not mean that their senses of self-preservation have been compromised.
  • No politician with an ounce of self-preservation would touch this with a ten foot pole, except to shut it down.
  • It is self-preservation, nothing bad with that, but it also isn't the moral high ground.
British Dictionary definitions for self-preservation


the preservation of oneself from danger or injury, esp as a basic instinct
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-preservation

1610s, from self- + preservation. First attested in Donne.

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

Few English speakers likely know this word

Word Value for self

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Quotes with self-preservation