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[mahy-self] /maɪˈsɛlf/
pronoun, plural ourselves
[ahr-selvz, ouuh r-, ou-er-] /ɑrˈsɛlvz, aʊər-, ˌaʊ ər-/ (Show IPA)
(used as an intensive of me or I):
I myself will challenge the winner.
(used reflexively in place of me as the object of a preposition or as the direct or indirect object of a verb):
I gave myself a good rubdown. She asked me for a picture of myself.
Informal. (used in place of I or me, especially in compound subjects, objects, and complements):
My wife and myself fully agree. She wanted John and myself to take charge. The originators of the plan were my partner and myself.
(used in place of I or me after as, than, or but):
He knows as much about the matter as myself.
my normal or customary self:
After a few days of rest, I expect to be myself again.
Origin of myself
before 900; my + self; replacing Middle English meself, Old English mē selfum (dative)
Usage note
There is no disagreement over the use of myself and other -self forms when they are used intensively (I myself cannot agree) or reflexively (He introduced himself proudly). Questions are raised, however, when the -self forms are used instead of the personal pronouns (I, me, etc.) as subjects, objects, or complements.
Myself occurs only rarely as a single subject in place of I: Myself was the one who called. The recorded instances of such use are mainly poetic or literary. It is also uncommon as a simple object in place of me: Since the letter was addressed to myself, I opened it. As part of a compound subject, object, or complement, myself and to a lesser extent the other -self forms are common in informal speech and personal writing, somewhat less common in more formal speech and writing: The manager and myself completed the arrangements. Many came to welcome my husband and myself back to Washington.
Myself and other -self forms are also used, alone or with other nouns or pronouns, in constructions after as, than, or but in all varieties of speech and writing: The captain has far more experience than myself in such matters. Orders have arrived for everyone but the orderlies and yourself.
There is ample precedent, going as far back as Chaucer and running through the whole range of British and American literature and other serious formal writing, for all these uses. Many usage guides, however, state that to use myself in any construction in which I or me could be used instead (as My daughter and myself play the flute instead of My daughter and I, or a gift for my husband and myself instead of for my husband and me) is characteristic only of informal speech and that such use ought not to occur in writing. See also me. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for myself
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • By some mysterious power you have ever known my heart better than I myself have known it.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • Though younger than myself, she reciprocated the love she had inspired.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • There, I thought I'd reveal the distressing truth about myself while I had you at my mercy.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • I'm afraid of myself, even in spite of our affairs being so bad.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • I know that in Paris, for instance, I myself have no temptations.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
British Dictionary definitions for myself


  1. the reflexive form of I or me
  2. (intensifier): I myself know of no answer
(preceded by a copula) my usual self: I'm not myself today
(not standard) used instead of I or me in compound noun phrases: John and myself are voting together
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
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Word Origin and History for myself

c.1500, alteration of meself, from Old English phrase (ic) me self, where me is "a kind of ethical dative" [OED], altered in Middle Ages from meself on analogy of herself, with her- felt as genitive; though analogous hisself remains bad form.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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