1

self

pronoun \ ˈself , Southern also ˈsef \
Updated on: 15 Nov 2017

Definition of self

: myself, himself, herself
  • a check payable to self

Origin and Etymology of self

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


2

self

adjective

Definition of self

1 obsolete : identical, same
2 obsolete : belonging to oneself : own
3 a : 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

Examples of self in a Sentence

  1. a self-red rose of a shade that hasn't been seen before

First Known Use of self

before 12th century


3

self

noun

Definition of self

plural selves play \ˈselvz, Southern also ˈsevz\
1 a : the entire person of an individual
b : the realization or embodiment of an abstraction
2 a (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
3 : the union of elements (such as body, emotions, thoughts, and sensations) that constitute the individuality and identity of a person
4 : personal interest or advantage
5 : material that is part of an individual organism
  • ability of the immune system to distinguish self from nonself

Examples of self in a Sentence

  1. She showed her better self at the party.

  2. Her public self is very different from her private self.

  3. Philosophers have written about the conception of the self.

Recent Examples of self from the Web

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.

First Known Use of self

13th century


4

self

verb

Definition of self

transitive verb
1 : inbreed
2 : to pollinate with pollen from the same flower or plant
intransitive verb
: to undergo self-pollination

Recent Examples of self from the Web

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.

First Known Use of self

1905


self-

combining form

Definition of self-

1 a : oneself or itself
  • self-supporting
b : of oneself or itself
  • self-abasement
c : by oneself or itself
  • self-propelled
  • self-acting
2 a : 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
  • self-abasement
  • self–abnegating
  • self–abnegation
  • self–accelerating
  • self–acceptance
  • self–accusation
  • self–accusatory
  • self–accusing
  • self–acknowledged
  • self–adjusting
  • self–administer
  • self–administration
  • self–admitted
  • self–admittedly
  • self–adulatory
  • self–advancement
  • self–advertisement
  • self–advertiser
  • self–affirmation
  • self–alienation
  • self–anointed
  • self–appraisal
  • self–approbation
  • self–assessment
  • self–assignment
  • self–authenticating
  • self–avowed
  • self–betterment
  • self–cancel
  • self–care
  • self–caricature
  • self–castigate
  • self–castigation
  • self–censorship
  • self–characterization
  • self–classification
  • self–cleaning
  • self–command
  • self–communing
  • self–communion
  • self–complacency
  • self–complacent
  • self–condemnation
  • self–condemned
  • self–confirming
  • self–consecration
  • self–constituted
  • self–consuming
  • self–contemplation
  • self–contempt
  • self–created
  • self–creation
  • self–critical
  • self–criticism
  • self–critique
  • self–cultivation
  • self–culture
  • self–damning
  • self–debasement
  • self–deceit
  • self–deceive
  • self–deception
  • self–defeating
  • self–deluded
  • self–deluding
  • self–delusion
  • self–denigrating
  • self–denigration
  • self–dependence
  • self–dependent
  • self–depreciation
  • self–described
  • self–description
  • self–descriptive
  • self–destroyer
  • self–development
  • self–devouring
  • self–differentiation
  • self–directed
  • self–directing
  • self–direction
  • self–directive
  • self–disgust
  • self–display
  • self–dissatisfaction
  • self–doubt
  • self–educated
  • self–educating
  • self–education
  • self–effacement
  • self–effacing
  • self–emancipation
  • self–emasculation
  • self–enclosed
  • self–engrossed
  • self–enhancement
  • self–evaluate
  • self–evaluation
  • self–exclusion
  • self–exculpation
  • self–exhibition
  • self–existence
  • self–existent
  • self–explaining
  • self–extinction
  • self–finance
  • self–formed
  • self–generate
  • self–giving
  • self–guided
  • self–hate
  • self–hating
  • self–hatred
  • self–healing
  • self–humbling
  • self–humiliation
  • self–hypnosis
  • self–idolatry
  • self–imposed
  • self–improvement
  • self–improver
  • self–induced
  • self–infatuated
  • self–inflation
  • self–inflicted
  • self–initiated
  • self–instructed
  • self–instruction
  • self–instructional
  • self–interview
  • self–invented
  • self–invention
  • self–isolation
  • self–labeled
  • self–lacerating
  • self–laceration
  • self–locking
  • self–lubricating
  • self–luminous
  • self–maintenance
  • self–management
  • self–mastery
  • self–medication
  • self–mockery
  • self–mocking
  • self–mortification
  • self–motivated
  • self–mutilating
  • self–mutilation
  • self–negating
  • self–obsessed
  • self–operating
  • self–ordained
  • self–oriented
  • self–parodist
  • self–parody
  • self–penned
  • self–perpetuating
  • self–perpetuation
  • self–plagiarism
  • self–pleasing
  • self–policing
  • self–praise
  • self–preoccupation
  • self–preoccupied
  • self–preserving
  • self–produced
  • self–promoter
  • self–promoting
  • self–promotion
  • self–protection
  • self–protective
  • self–protectiveness
  • self–punishing
  • self–punishment
  • self–raised
  • self–recrimination
  • self–reference
  • self–referential
  • self–referring
  • self–reformation
  • self–regulation
  • self–regulative
  • self–regulatory
  • self–reinforcing
  • self–renewal
  • self–renewing
  • self–renouncing
  • self–renunciation
  • self–reproach
  • self–reproachful
  • self–reproof
  • self–reproving
  • self–restraint
  • self–ridicule
  • self–satirizing
  • self–selected
  • self–selection
  • self–set
  • self–surrender
  • self–sustained
  • self–therapy
  • self–torment
  • self–tormentor
  • self–torture
  • self–transcendence
  • self–transformation
  • self–understanding
  • self–validating
  • self–worship
  • self–worshipper

Origin and Etymology of self-

Middle English, from Old English, from self



SELF Defined for English Language Learners

self

noun

Definition of self for English Language Learners

  • : 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

Definition of self- for English Language Learners

  • : yourself or itself

  • : of yourself or itself

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


SELF Defined for Kids

self

noun \ ˈself \

Definition of self for Students

plural selves \ˈselvz\
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

Definition of self- for Students

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

Medical Dictionary

self

noun \ ˈself \

medical Definition of self

plural selves play \ˈselvz\
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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