One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Chiefly Philosophy. That which is not a self, or is not regarded as part of an individual's conscious self; the external world. Also: (especially in Buddhism) a state characterized by the absence of, or a lack of awareness of, any form of conscious, independent self.
2Immunology. Non-self matter.
Immunology. Of, relating to, or designating matter which has not been produced by a particular individual and so is identified by the body's immune system (in normal circumstances) as foreign or abnormal, provoking an immune response.
Mid 19th century; earliest use found in John Stuart Mill (1806–1873), philosopher, economist, and advocate of women's rights. From non- + self.
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