[ ahr-selvz, ouuhr-, ou-er- ]
/ ɑrˈsɛlvz, aʊər-, ˌaʊ ər- /
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plural pronoun
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.
Were you ready for a quiz on this topic? Well, here it is! See how well you can differentiate between the uses of "was" vs. "were" in this quiz.
Question 1 of 7
“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

Origin of ourselves

1300–50; Middle English oure selven;see our, self, -en4, -s3

usage note for ourselves

See myself.

Words nearby ourselves

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022

How to use ourselves in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for ourselves

/ (aʊəˈsɛlvz) /

  1. the reflexive form of we or us
  2. (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
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