one·​self | \ (ˌ)wən-ˈself How to pronounce oneself (audio) , Southern also -ˈsef\
variants: or less commonly one's self \ (ˌ)wən-​ How to pronounce one's self (audio) , ˌwənz-​ \

Definition of oneself

1 : a person's self : one's own self used reflexively as object of a preposition or verb or for emphasis in various constructionsIt is important to have good feelings about oneself.
2 : one's normal, healthy, or sane condition or self the need to protect oneself from danger
be oneself
: to conduct oneself in a usual or fitting manner under such conditions one could not be oneself

First Known Use of oneself

1540, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler

The first known use of oneself was in 1540

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Cite this Entry

“Oneself.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 22 November 2019.

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How to pronounce oneself (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of oneself

used as the object of a verb or preposition when one is the stated subject or is understood to be the subject
used for emphasis to refer again to the subject when one is the subject


one·​self | \ ˌwən-ˈself How to pronounce oneself (audio) \

Kids Definition of oneself

: a person's own self Living by oneself can be lonely.

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More from Merriam-Webster on oneself

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with oneself

Spanish Central: Translation of oneself

Nglish: Translation of oneself for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of oneself for Arabic Speakers

Comments on oneself

What made you want to look up oneself? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not agreeing with established beliefs

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