Advertisement - Continue reading below

Definition of "self-contained" [self•-con•tained]

  • Constituting a complete and independent unit in and of itself: A self-contained dictionary defines every word contained within it. (adjective)
  • Not dependent on others; self-sufficient: a self-contained settlement in the Arctic. (adjective)
  • Keeping to oneself; reserved. (adjective)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "self-contained" in a sentence
  • "The acronym for self-contained underwater breathing apparatus is acceptable in all references."
  • "The state also cited Cobalt's miners for failing to wear their air packs, called self-contained self-rescuers, and for failing to have a cache of the devices within reach."
  • "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart—that is to say, a self-contained but slightly smug little kid called Wolfie—plays second fiddle to his older sister in René Féret's beguiling celebration, in French with English subtitles, of the family's other prodigy."