self

noun
\ ˈself How to pronounce self (audio) , Southern also ˈsef \
plural selves\ ˈselvz How to pronounce self (audio) , Southern also  ˈsevz \

Definition of self

 (Entry 1 of 5)

1a(1) : an individual's typical character or behavior her true self was revealed
(2) : an individual's temporary behavior or character his better self
b : a person in prime condition feel like my old self today
2 : the union of elements (such as body, emotions, thoughts, and sensations) that constitute the individuality and identity of a person
3 : personal interest or advantage
4a : the entire person of an individual
b : the realization or embodiment of an abstraction
5 : material that is part of an individual organism ability of the immune system to distinguish self from nonself

self

pronoun

Definition of self (Entry 2 of 5)

: myself, himself, herself a check payable to self

self

adjective

Definition of self (Entry 3 of 5)

1a : having a single character or quality throughout specifically : having one color only a self flower
b : of the same kind (as in color, material, or pattern) as something with which it is used self trimming
2 obsolete : identical, same
3 obsolete : belonging to oneself : own

self

verb
selfed; selfing; selfs

Definition of self (Entry 4 of 5)

transitive verb

1 : inbreed
2 : to pollinate with pollen from the same flower or plant

intransitive verb

: to undergo self-pollination

Definition of self- (Entry 5 of 5)

1a : oneself or itself self-supporting
b : of oneself or itself self-abasement
c : by oneself or itself self-propelled self-acting
2a : to, with, for, or toward oneself or itself self-consistent self-addressed self-love
b : of or in oneself or itself inherently self-evident
c : from or by means of oneself or itself self-fertile

Examples of self in a Sentence

Noun She showed her better self at the party. Her public self is very different from her private self. Philosophers have written about the conception of the self. Adjective a self-red rose of a shade that hasn't been seen before
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun The Tusken timeline may eventually reveal that Boba suffered grave injuries on behalf of his new brothers and is struggling to get by as a shadow of his former self, for instance. Alan Sepinwall, Rolling Stone, 12 Jan. 2022 The White House plan also includes the provision of 50 million free, at-home self-tests to community health centers and rural clinics. Andy Meek, BGR, 12 Jan. 2022 But self-closing doors in the building failed to shut properly, allowing spoke to spread. Amy Nakamura, USA TODAY, 12 Jan. 2022 In men, equating self-worth with earning capabilities can contribute to burnout at work. Kristen Bellstrom, Fortune, 12 Jan. 2022 Instructors may not notice someone's poor form if a class is crowded, or if someone intentionally stations themself in the back out of self-consciousness, Quindry said. Melanie Radzicki Mcmanus, CNN, 12 Jan. 2022 Back in business: the 67th Kentucky Derby Festival will look and feel a lot more like its old self in 2022. Kirby Adams, The Courier-Journal, 12 Jan. 2022 The event of the moment was to instill respect in the classroom, but the cheat sheet was to achieve that respect by first encouraging the members of the classroom to develop their own self-respect. Jonathan Majors, The Hollywood Reporter, 12 Jan. 2022 Officials have also encouraged people to look beyond drive-thru testing sites and seek other options like primary care providers, pharmacies or tests where people can self-administer a swab and send their sample to a lab. Morgan Krakow, Anchorage Daily News, 12 Jan. 2022

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'self.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of self

Noun

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 4a

Pronoun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined above

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1905, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1

History and Etymology for self

Pronoun

Middle English (intensive pronoun), from Old English; akin to Old High German selb, intensive pronoun, and probably to Latin suus one's own — more at suicide

Combining form

Middle English, from Old English, from self

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Time Traveler for self

Time Traveler

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

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Dictionary Entries Near self

Seleucus I Nicator

self

self-

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Statistics for self

Last Updated

14 Jan 2022

Cite this Entry

“Self.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self. Accessed 21 Jan. 2022.

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More Definitions for self

self

noun

English Language Learners Definition of self

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: the person that someone normally or truly is
: a particular part of your personality or character that is shown in a particular situation
: the personality or character that makes a person different from other people : the combination of emotions, thoughts, feelings, etc., that make a person different from others

self-

combining form

English Language Learners Definition of self- (Entry 5 of 2)

: yourself or itself
: of yourself or itself
: by, to, with, for, or toward yourself or itself

self

noun
\ ˈself How to pronounce self (audio) \
plural selves\ ˈselvz \

Kids Definition of self

1 : a person regarded as an individual apart from everyone else
2 : a special side of a person's character He isn't his cheerful self today.

self-

prefix

Kids Definition of self-

1 : someone's or something's self self-governing
2 : of or by someone's or something's self self-control
3 : to, with, for, or toward someone's or something's self self-respect

self

noun
\ ˈself How to pronounce self (audio) \
plural selves\ ˈselvz How to pronounce self (audio) \

Medical Definition of self

1 : the union of elements (as body, emotions, thoughts, and sensations) that constitute the individuality and identity of a person
2 : material that is part of an individual organism ability of the immune system to distinguish self from nonself

More from Merriam-Webster on self

Nglish: Translation of self for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of self for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about self

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