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The setting aside of self-interest for the sake of others or for a belief or principle.

self′-ab′ne·gat′ing adj.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adj.1.self-abnegating - used especially of behavior
nonindulgent, strict - characterized by strictness, severity, or restraint
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in classic literature ?
He shook in a self-abnegating way, as one who shook for Tellson and Co.
Billy Pilgrim is an inept soldier, hapless and self-abnegating, mocked and derided by his comrades.
All My Colors is by turns a supernatural revenge fantasy, a black comedy, and a self-abnegating parody.
Reflecting on the self-abnegating 'agape' love for humanity in the lives of Jesus of Nazareth and such personages as Gandhi, he concluded that such love could only spring from a source outside human time-space, 'from an intangible, little-studied, possibly super-empirical source .
Ludo's attitude to the people he describes might seem superficially self-abnegating but Gary busily redresses the balance, glories in the oddity of others and never misses a comic trick.
"We want leaders to lead Chhatra League who are self-abnegating, eligible and always follow the ideology of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujibur Rahman," he added.
Such self-abnegating choices clearly run counter to the popular assumption that anti-Pakistani animus has consistently informed Indian policy toward Afghanistan, For example, Paliwal shows that Indian leaders as diverse as Inder Kumar Gujaral to Narasimha Rao on the basis of both political conviction and circumstance eschewed opportunities to create havoc in Pakistan using Afghanistan as a proxy.
The need to prove her worth to an inconstant lover becomes deeply self-abnegating, almost self-annihilating, during Sontag's relationship with Carlotta del Pezzo, an Italian aristocrat first mentioned in 1970.
There, is a mortgage of dedication, of discipline, of self-abnegating leadership in the billowing fields of green sprung from miracle rice; on every road or bridge; on every school or hospital; on every house or irrigation; on every farm or industry; on every community project we have built.
We are all for calling Newtonian celestial mechanics good science, of course, but Newton's many ambitions (quantification and prediction, for example) and his hopes did not include the achievement of a self-abnegating, 19th-century objectivity.
Focused on discovering an autonomous identity she recognizes the futility in being an acquiescent, self-abnegating daughter, sister, wife or mother.