Self-government Self`-gov"ern*ment, n. 1. The act of governing one's self, or the state of being governed by one's self; self-control; self-command. [1913 Webster]

2. Hence, government of a community, state, or nation by the joint action of the mass of people constituting such a civil body; also, the state of being so governed; democratic government; democracy. [1913 Webster]

It is to self-government, the great principle of popular representation and administration, -- the system that lets in all to participate in the councels that are to assign the good or evil to all, -- that we may owe what we are and what we hope to be. --D. Webster. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.