Etymology
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self-starter (n.)

1894, of engines, 1960, of persons (especially workers), from self- + starter. Self-starting (adj.), of motors, is attested from 1866.

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Definitions of self-starter

self-starter (n.)
an energetic person with unusual initiative;
self-starter (n.)
an electric starting motor that automatically starts an internal-combustion engine;
From wordnet.princeton.edu