it·​self | \ it-ˈself How to pronounce itself (audio) , ət-, Southern also -ˈsef \

Definition of itself

1 : that identical one — compare it sense 1 used reflexively watched the cat giving itself a bath , for emphasis the letter itself was missing , or in absolute constructions itself a splendid specimen of classic art, it has been exhibited throughout the world
2 : its normal, healthy, or sane condition
in itself
: in its own nature : intrinsically was not in itself bad

First Known Use of itself

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler

The first known use of itself was before the 12th century

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Cite this Entry

“Itself.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Apr. 2021.

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English Language Learners Definition of itself

used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to something that has already been mentioned
used for emphasis to refer to something that has already been mentioned
used after a noun to say that someone or something has a lot of a particular quality


it·​self | \ it-ˈself How to pronounce itself (audio) \

Kids Definition of itself

: that identical one The cat gave itself a bath. This itself is a good enough reason.

More from Merriam-Webster on itself

Nglish: Translation of itself for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of itself for Arabic Speakers

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