Etymology
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self-evident (adj.)

"evident in itself without proof or reasoning; producing clear conviction upon a bare presentation to the mind," 1680s, from self- + evident. First in Locke's "Essay Concerning Human Understanding." In Jefferson's rough draft of the American Declaration of Independence (1776), the word is written, in Franklin's handwriting, in place of the stricken out phrase sacred and undeniable. Related: Self-evidently; self-evidence; self-evidencing (1650s).

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evident (adj.)

"plainly seen or perceived, manifest, obvious," late 14c., from Old French evident and directly from Latin evidentem (nominative evidens) "perceptible, clear, obvious, apparent" from ex "out, out of, fully" (see ex-) + videntem (nominative videns), present participle of videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see").

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self- 

word forming element indicating "oneself," also "automatic," from Old English use of self (pron.) in compounds, such as selfbana "suicide," selflice "self-love, pride, vanity, egotism," selfwill "free will." Middle English had self-witte "one's own knowledge and intelligence" (early 15c.).

OED counts 13 such compounds in Old English. Middle English Compendium lists four, counting the self-will group as a whole. It re-emerges as a living word-forming element mid-16c., "probably to a great extent by imitation or reminiscence of Greek compounds in (auto-)," and formed a great many words in the pamphlet disputes of the 17c.

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self (pron., n., adj.)

Old English self, sylf (West Saxon),  seolf (Anglian), "one's own person, -self; own, personal; same, identical," from Proto-Germanic *selbaz (source also of Old Norse sjalfr, Old Frisian self, Dutch zelf, Old High German selb, German selb, selbst, Gothic silba), Proto-Germanic *selbaz "self," from PIE *sel-bho-, suffixed form of root *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (referring back to the subject of a sentence), also used in forms denoting the speaker's social group, "(we our-)selves" (see idiom).

Its use as the second element in compounded reflexive pronouns (herself, etc.) was in Old English, from the original independent (and inflected) use of self following personal pronouns, as in ic selfa "myself," min selfes "of myself." With a merging of accusative, dative, and genitive cases.

As a noun from c. 1200 as "the person or thing previously specified;" early 14c. as "a person in relation to that same person." G.M. Hopkins used selve as a verb, "become or cause to become a unique self" (1880) but its use seems to have been restricted to poets.

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self-analysis (n.)

"analysis by or of oneself," 1860; see self- + analysis.

Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. [attributed to Alan Watts, who did often use the image in this sense in his talks, if not in these exact words]
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self-abuse (n.)

c. 1600, "self-deception, abuse of one's own person or powers," from self- + abuse (n.). As a synonym for "masturbation," it is recorded from 1728; an earlier term was self-pollution (1620s).

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self-actualization (n.)

"realization or fulfillment of oneself," 1939, from self- + actualization. Popularized, though not coined, by U.S. psychologist and philosopher Abraham H. Maslow.

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self-absorbed (adj.)

"absorbed in one's own thoughts or pursuits," 1796, from self- + absorbed "engrossed mentally." Related: Self-absorption.

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self-aware (adj.)

"aware of oneself," in a psychological sense, 1892, a back-formation from self-awareness, or else from self- + aware.

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self-begotten (adj.)

"generated without aid of another," 1670s (Milton); see self- + begotten.

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