Reliant on one's own knowledge or intellectual ability, especially as opposed to being reliant on the wisdom of God; believing oneself to be wise. In later use also with neutral or positive meaning: having self-knowledge; self-aware.
With plural agreement (usually with the): self-wise people, considered collectively. Also occasionally with singular agreement: †a self-wise person (obsolete).
Late 16th century; earliest use found in John Daus (c1516–1602), schoolmaster and translator. From self- + wise.