self-involved (adj.) Look up self-involved at
1812, from self- + involved.
self-justification (n.) Look up self-justification at
1650s, from self- + justification.
self-love (n.) Look up self-love at
also self love, 1560s, from self- + love (n.).
self-made (adj.) Look up self-made at
1610s, "made by oneself," from self- + made. Self-made man first recorded 1832, American English; the sense is "having attained material success in life without extraneous advantages."
self-motivation (n.) Look up self-motivation at
1980 (self-motivated attested from 1949), from self- + motivation. Related: Self-motivational.
self-perception (n.) Look up self-perception at
1670s, from self- + perception.
self-perfection (n.) Look up self-perfection at
"perfection of one's character or life," 1810, from self- + perfection.
self-pity (n.) Look up self-pity at
1620s, from self- + pity (n.). Related: Self-pitying.
self-portrait (n.) Look up self-portrait at
1821, from self- + portrait, translating German Selbstbildnis.
self-possession (n.) Look up self-possession at
"command of one's emotions," 1745, from self- + possession (n.). Related: Self-possessed.
self-preservation (n.) Look up self-preservation at
1610s, from self- + preservation. First attested in Donne.
self-protection (n.) Look up self-protection at
1706, from self- + protection.
self-realization (n.) Look up self-realization at
also self realization, 1839, from self- + realization.
self-regard (n.) Look up self-regard at
1590s, from self- + regard (n.).
self-regulating (adj.) Look up self-regulating at
1837, from self- + present participle of regulate (v.).
self-reliance (n.) Look up self-reliance at
1883, from self- + reliance. First recorded in J.S. Mill.
self-reliant (adj.) Look up self-reliant at
1826, from self- + reliant.
self-respect (n.) Look up self-respect at
also self respect, "proper regard for and care of the dignity of one's person," 1795, from self- + respect (n.). Related: Self-respecting.
self-restraint (n.) Look up self-restraint at
1754, from self- + restraint.
self-righteous (adj.) Look up self-righteous at
1680s, from self- + righteous. Related: Self-righteously; self-righteousness.
self-sacrifice (n.) Look up self-sacrifice at
1805, from self- + sacrifice (n.). Adjective self-sacrific'd attested from 1711. Related: self-sacrificing.
self-satisfaction (n.) Look up self-satisfaction at
1739, from self- + satisfaction. Related: Self-satisfied (1734).
self-seeking (n.) Look up self-seeking at
"a seeking after one's own benefit (before those of others)," 1580s, from self + seeking, verbal noun from seek. As an adjective, from 1620s.
self-service (adj.) Look up self-service at
1919, in reference to grocery stores, from self- + service (n.1).
self-serving (adj.) Look up self-serving at
also self serving, 1827, from self- + serving, present participle adjective from serve (v.).
self-starter (n.) Look up self-starter at
1894, of engines, 1960, of persons (especially workers), from self- + starter. Self-starting (adj.), of motors, is attested from 1866.
self-styled (adj.) Look up self-styled at
1833, from self- + past tense of style (v.).
self-sufficiency (n.) Look up self-sufficiency at
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.
self-sufficient (adj.) Look up self-sufficient at
"able to supply one's own needs," 1580s, from self- + sufficient. Related: Self-sufficiently.
self-sustaining (adj.) Look up self-sustaining at
1806, from self- + present participle of sustain (v.).
self-willed (adj.) Look up self-willed at
late 15c., from self- + willed (see will (v.1)). In Old English, selfwill meant "free will."
self-worth (n.) Look up self-worth at
also self worth, 1650s, from self- + worth (n.).
selfie (n.) Look up selfie at
"photograph taken by pointing the camera at oneself," by 2005, said to be in use by 2002, from self + -ie.
selfish (adj.) Look up selfish at
1630s, from self- + -ish. Said in Hacket's life of Archbishop Williams (1693) to have been coined by Presbyterians. In the 17c., synonyms included self-seeking (1620s), self-ended and self-ful.
Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs. [Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene," 1976]
Related: Selfishly; selfishness. Similar formations in German selbstisch, Swedish sjelfvisk, Danish selvisk.
selfless (adj.) Look up selfless at
"devoted to others' welfare or interest and not one's own," 1825, from self + -less. First attested in Coleridge. Related: Selflessly; selflessness.
selfsame Look up selfsame at
"identical," early 15c., from self + same. Written as two words until c. 1600.
Selina Look up Selina at
fem. proper name, nativized form of French Céline, from Latin caelina "heavenly," from caelum (see celestial).
Seljuk Look up Seljuk at
Turkish dynasty of 11c.-13c., c. 1600 (Selzuccian), from Turkish seljuq, name of reputed ancestor of the dynasty.
sell (v.) Look up sell at
Old English sellan "to give, furnish, supply, lend; surrender, give up; deliver to; promise," from Proto-Germanic *saljan "offer up, deliver" (cognates: Old Norse selja "to hand over, deliver, sell;" Old Frisian sella, Old High German sellen "to give, hand over, sell;" Gothic saljan "to offer a sacrifice"), ultimately from PIE root *sel- (3) "to take, grasp."

Meaning "to give up for money" had emerged by c. 1000, but in Chaucer selle still can mean "to give." Students of Old English learn early that the word that looks like sell usually means "give." An Old English word for "to sell" was bebycgan, from bycgan "to buy."

Slang meaning "to swindle" is from 1590s. The noun phrase hard sell is recorded from 1952. To sell one's soul is from c. 1570. Sell-by date is from 1972. To sell like hot cakes is from 1839. Selling-point attested from 1959.

To sell (someone) down the river figuratively is by 1927, probably from or with recollection of slavery days, on notion of sale from the Upper South to the cotton plantations of the Deep South (attested in this literal sense since 1851).
seller (n.) Look up seller at
c. 1200, agent noun from sell (v.).
Sellotape (n.) Look up Sellotape at
1949, proprietary name, Great Britain.
sellout (n.) Look up sellout at
also sell-out, "corrupt bargain," 1862 (in Mary Chesnut's diary), from the verbal phrase (at that time often meaning "dispose of one's interests" in a company, etc.), from sell (v.) + out (adv.). Meaning "event for which all tickets have been sold" is attested from 1923. The verbal phrase sell out "prostitute one's ideals or talents" is attested from 1888.
seltzer Look up seltzer at
1741, from German Selterser (Wasser), a kind of mineral water, literally "of Selters," village near Weisbaden in Hesse-Nassau, where the mineral water is found.
selvage (n.) Look up selvage at
mid-15c., "edge of web or cloth so finished as to prevent raveling," apparently literally "its own edge," a corruption of self + edge (n.); on analogy of Middle Flemish selvegge (compare also Low German sulfegge; Dutch zelfkant, from kant "border;" Middle High German selbende, German Selbend, literally "self-end").
semantic (adj.) Look up semantic at
1894, from French sémantique, applied by Michel Bréal (1883) to the psychology of language, from Greek semantikos "significant," from semainein "to show by sign, signify, point out, indicate by a sign," from sema "sign, mark, token; omen, portent; constellation; grave" (Doric sama), from PIE root *dheie- "to see, look" (cognates: Sanskrit dhyati "he meditates;" see zen).
semantics (n.) Look up semantics at
"science of meaning in language," 1893, from French sémantique (1883); see semantic (also see -ics). Replaced semasiology (1847), from German Semasiologie (1829), from Greek semasia "signification, meaning."
semaphore (n.) Look up semaphore at
"apparatus for signaling," 1816, probably via French sémaphore, literally "a bearer of signals," ultimately from Greek sema "sign, signal" (see semantic) + phoros "bearer," from pherein "to carry" (see infer). Related: Semaphoric (1808).
sematic (adj.) Look up sematic at
"significant, indicative," 1890, from Greek semat-, comb. form of sema (genitive sematos) "sign" (see semantic) + -ic. Used especially in biology, in reference to "warning" colors, etc.
semblable (adj.) Look up semblable at
"resembling," late 14c., from Old French semblable (12c.), from sembler "to be like" (see semblance).
semblance (n.) Look up semblance at
c. 1300, "fact of appearing to view," from Old French semblance, from semblant "likeness, appearance," present participle of sembler "to seem, appear," from Latin simulare "to resemble, imitate," from similis "like" (see similar (adj.)). Meaning "person's appearance or demeanor" is attested from c. 1400; that of "false, assumed or deceiving appearance" is from 1590s. Meaning "person or thing that resembles another" is attested from 1510s.