self

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

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

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

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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 He was exposed to an infected person outside the organization and missed the team’s Week 6 game against the Philadelphia Eagles while completing his five-day self-quarantine. Daniel Oyefusi, baltimoresun.com, "Which Ravens players have been sidelined due to the team’s coronavirus outbreak?," 27 Nov. 2020 As detailed in the State’s Health Order No. 6, individuals who have traveled from outside Alaska are required upon arrival/return to limit contact with others pending negative COVID-19 testing results or to self-quarantine. Anchorage Daily News, "Read the full text of Anchorage’s Emergency Order 16, the modified hunker-down order," 26 Nov. 2020 The form, available at travel.lacity.org, acknowledges that anyone traveling to California from other states or countries should self-quarantine for two weeks and limit interactions to their immediate household. Los Angeles Times, "Coronavirus Today: A very different Thanksgiving," 25 Nov. 2020 Those members immediately began to self-quarantine, and the team began the contact tracing process. Allen Kim And Jacob Lev, CNN, "Ravens-Steelers Thanksgiving matchup postponed due to Covid-19 cases," 25 Nov. 2020 Violations of self-quarantine will be enforced, and may carry fines of $1,000 to $2,000, according to the mayor's office. Democrat-gazette Staff From Wire Reports, Arkansas Online, "1st Pfizer vaccine shipment expected in mid-December," 25 Nov. 2020 For those wishing to avoid self-quarantine, United will reach out 14 days ahead of takeoff to provide instructions on ordering a test and completing the process. Shacamree Gowdy, Chron, "United mandates COVID-19 tests for 10 international flights leaving Bush International," 24 Nov. 2020 Violations of self-quarantine will be enforced and may carry fines of $1,000 to $2,000, according to the mayor’s office. Bloomberg.com, "California Sees Hospital Surge; France Eases Rules: Virus Update," 23 Nov. 2020 Beshear said Thursday the number of students needing to self-quarantine has climbed above 10,000. Billy Kobin, The Courier-Journal, "Private Louisville school will ignore Beshear's order on in-person classes, official says," 20 Nov. 2020

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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Statistics for self

Last Updated

3 Dec 2020

Cite this Entry

“Self.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self. Accessed 4 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for self

self

noun
How to pronounce self- (audio)

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

English Language Learners Definition of self- (Entry 2 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 selves (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

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Comments on self

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