- a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality: one's own self.
- a person's nature, character, etc.: his better self.
- personal interest.
- the ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted with that known, remembered, etc.
- the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.
- being the same throughout, as a color; uniform.
- being of one piece with or the same material as the rest: drapes with a self lining.
- Immunology. the natural constituents of the body, which are normally not subject to attack by components of the immune system (contrasted with nonself).
- Obsolete. same.
- myself, himself, herself, etc.: to make a check payable to self.
- to self-pollinate.
Origin of self
- a combining form of self and variously used with the meanings “of the self” (self-analysis) and “by oneself or itself” (self-appointed); and with the meanings “to, with, toward, for, on, in oneself” (self-complacent), “inherent in oneself or itself” (self-explanatory), “independent” (self-government), and “automatic” (self-operating).
Examples from the Web for self
“The journey of the show is towards a sense of self: the who you are in public and the who you are inside,” he says.Can Condon's Freak Show Win Broadway?
November 18, 2014
Both followed wars; people were tired of idealism and self-sacrifice and were determined to enjoy a self- indulgent materialism.How Rock and Roll Killed Jim Crow
October 26, 2014
Kelly began the segment calling Nolan a “self radicalized” Muslim, inferring that his horrific crime was connected to Islam.Megyn Kelly’s Really Scary Muslim
October 5, 2014
It is love for the self and community that often fuels black rage.How We Got to Ferguson—a Reading List
August 23, 2014
There may even be a part of him that he himself does not recognize, a second self that is capable of otherwise repugnant violence.Haruki Murakami's Weird, Wonderful World
August 15, 2014
And when that reason offers, is it not just to express one's self accordingly?
Self-government relies, in the end, on the governing of the self.
Why, inside two weeks he'll be fit as a fiddle, and inside a month he'll be his own self!Way of the Lawless
As to some of the others, I cannot wonder at any thing they do, or attempt to do, where self is concerned.
It is little use telling one's self that one's fear is silly.Weighed and Wanting
- the distinct individuality or identity of a person or thing
- a person's usual or typical bodily make-up or personal characteristicsshe looked her old self again
- good self or good selves rare a polite way of referring to or addressing a person (or persons), used following your, his, her, or their
- one's own welfare or interestshe only thinks of self
- an individual's consciousness of his own identity or being
- the self philosophy that which is essential to an individual, esp the mind or soul in Cartesian metaphysics; the ego
- a bird, animal, etc, that is a single colour throughout, esp a self-coloured pigeon
- not standard myself, yourself, etcseats for self and wife
- of the same colour or materiala dress with a self belt See also self-coloured
- obsolete the same
- of oneself or itselfself-defence; self-rule
- by, to, in, due to, for, or from the selfself-employed; self-inflicted; self-respect
- automatic or automaticallyself-propelled
Word Origin and History for self
Old English self, seolf, sylf "one's own person, -self; own, same," from Proto-Germanic *selbaz (cf. Old Norse sjalfr, Old Frisian self, Dutch zelf, Old High German selb, German selb, selbst, Gothic silba), Proto-Germanic *selbaz "self," from PIE *sel-bho-, suffixed form of root *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (referring back to the subject of a sentence), also used in forms denoting the speaker's social group, "(we our-)selves" (see idiom).
Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. [Alan Watts]
Its use in compounds to form reflective pronouns grew out of independent use in Old English. As a noun from early 14c.
word forming element indicating "oneself," also "automatic," from Old English use of self (pron.) in compounds, e.g. selfbana "suicide," selflice "self-love, pride, vanity, egotism," selfwill "free will."
- The total, essential, or particular being of a person; the individual.
- One's consciousness of one's own being or identity; the ego.
- That which the immune system identifies as belonging to the body.