- a reflexive form of we (used as the direct or indirect object of a verb or the direct object of a preposition): We are deceiving ourselves. Give us a moment to ourselves.
- (used as an intensive with we): We ourselves would never say such a thing.
- Informal. (used in place of we or us, especially in compound subjects, objects, and complements): The children and ourselves thank you kindly. When it satisfies ourselves, it will be ready to market. The ones who really want the new system are the manager and ourselves.
- (used in place of we or us after as, than, or but): How many parents are as fortunate as ourselves? No one loves skiing more than ourselves. Nobody heard it but ourselves.
- our customary, normal, or healthy selves: After a good rest, we're almost ourselves again.
Origin of ourselves
- (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
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.
Examples from the Web for ourselves
We did ThunderAnt stuff for ourselves and just put it online, and then it blossomed into something else.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
But we are afraid and we wonder to ourselves who will be next.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
Expectations, reasonable or unrealistic, remain so even if we impose them on ourselves.Why Singles Should Say ‘I Don’t’ to The Self-Marriage Movement
December 30, 2014
Cheat, in other words—on God, on our fellow man, ultimately, on ourselves.McConaughey’s ‘Stand’—And Ours
December 5, 2014
It turns out that was really a wish to be a better version of ourselves.A Reminder: Our Justices are Politicians in Robes
November 13, 2014
"Flattery to ourselves does not change the nature of what is wrong," answered Philothea.
The haughtiness of others can never make us angry, if we ourselves are humble.
We'll use a part of them ourselves, and what we can't use I will give away.Brave and Bold
There obtained just sufficient water for ourselves and the horses.
We camped for the night without water for ourselves or horses.
- the reflexive form of we or us
- (intensifier)we ourselves will finish it
- (preceded by a copula) our usual selveswe are ourselves when we're together
- not standard used instead of we or us in compound noun phrasesother people and ourselves
- the reflexive form of I or me
- (intensifier)I myself know of no answer
- (preceded by a copula) my usual selfI'm not myself today
- not standard used instead of I or me in compound noun phrasesJohn and myself are voting together
Word Origin and History for ourselves
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.