Definition of self-mutilation in US English:



  • The mutilation of oneself, especially as a symptom of mental or emotional disturbance.

    • ‘Being disruptive, refusing to obey orders, and engaging in acts of self-mutilation and attempted suicide can all result in punitive action.’
    • ‘The burn that brought Kisha to the ER on the evening I interviewed her was not her first act of self-mutilation.’
    • ‘She warned that if a child did not receive help, this could lead to feelings of self-hatred and could result in self-mutilation and even suicide attempts.’
    • ‘Incidents involving physical assault and self-mutilation were next on the list.’
    • ‘A woman is being driven to self-mutilation by mental illness, brought on by a disastrous relationship.’
    • ‘Children as young as nine have attempted self-mutilation, suicide and other acts of self-harm.’
    • ‘She points to the fact that she still struggles to quit smoking, which, she says, can cause as much physical damage as any act of self-mutilation.’
    • ‘Moreover, when she eventually stops seeking these abusive men she substitutes their external abuses for a violent form of self-loathing that eventually becomes self-mutilation.’
    • ‘Self-harm is often also referred to by other names such as deliberate self-harm, attempted suicide, para-suicide, self-mutilation and self-injury.’
    • ‘It saddens me greatly that no one in government is able to utter one word of compassion for the most unfortunate souls whose desperation must be so great that they have to resort to self-mutilation.’
    • ‘His self-mutilation was a classic call for help and attention.’
    • ‘Circus animals show the same stereotypic repetitive behaviours that most other imprisoned animals show, such as pacing back and forth, chewing the bars of their cages and self-mutilation.’
    • ‘They say that detention is creating a spiral of depression, psychotic symptoms and self-mutilation.’
    • ‘Some participants spoke of self-mutilation and attempted suicide.’
    • ‘The middle of the night may find a SWAT team of counselors calming down a dorm wing after having crisis-managed an acute manic episode or yet another incident of self-mutilation.’



/ˈˌsɛlf ˌmjudəˈleɪʃən//ˈˌself ˌmyo͞odəˈlāSHən/