• synonyms


[ her-self ]
/ hərˈsɛlf /


an emphatic appositive of her or she: She herself wrote the letter.
a reflexive form of her: She supports herself.
(used in absolute constructions): Herself still only a child, she had to take care of her four younger brothers and sisters.
(used as the object of a preposition or as the direct or indirect object of a verb): She gave herself a facial massage. He asked her for a picture of herself.
(used in comparisons after as or than): She found out that the others were even more nervous than herself.
her normal or customary self: After a few weeks of rest, she will be herself again.


George GlassRead more in this article about some frequently asked questions and fun facts related to our definitions.

Nearby words

herry, hers, hers disease, hersage, herschel, herself, hersey, hersey, john richard, hershey, herskowitz, herstmonceux

Origin of herself

before 1000; Middle English hire-selfe, Old English hire self. See her, self

Usage note

See myself. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for herself

British Dictionary definitions for herself


/ (həˈsɛlf) /


  1. the reflexive form of she or her
  2. (intensifier)the queen herself signed the letter
(preceded by a copula) her normal or usual selfshe looks herself again after the operation
Irish and Scot the wife or woman of the houseis herself at home?
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 herself


Old English hire self; see her (objective case) + self. Originally dative, but since 14c. often treated as genitive, hence her own sweet self, etc. Also see himself.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper