• synonyms


[wuhn-self, wuhnz-]
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  1. a person's self (used for emphasis or reflexively): One often hurts oneself accidentally.
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  1. be oneself,
    1. to be in one's normal state of mind or physical condition.
    2. to be unaffected and sincere: One makes more friends by being oneself than by putting on airs.
  2. by oneself,
    1. without a companion; alone.
    2. through one's own efforts; unaided: to become a millionaire by oneself.
  3. come to oneself,
    1. Also come to.to regain consciousness.
    2. to regain one's self-possession; come to one's senses.
    Also come to one's self.
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Also Archaic, one's self.

Origin of oneself

First recorded in 1540–50; shortened form of one's self
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for by oneself


    1. the reflexive form of one (def. 20), one (def. 21)
    2. (intensifier)one doesn't do that oneself
  1. (preceded by a copula) one's normal or usual selfone doesn't feel oneself after such an experience
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Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for by oneself


1540s, one's self. Hyphenated 18c.; written as one word from c.1827, on model of himself, itself, etc.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with by oneself

by oneself

Alone, unaccompanied; also, unassisted. For example, She enjoyed being by herself much of the time, or Brian can pick up his toys by himself. [c. a.d. 1000]

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.