[ thair-self ]
/ ˌðɛərˈsɛlf /
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Definition of theirself

pronoun Nonstandard.
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Also their·selves [thair-selvz]. /ˌðɛərˈsɛlvz/.

Origin of theirself

1250–1300; Middle English; formed on analogy of myself
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does theirself mean?

Theirself is a singular, gender-neutral pronoun used as an alternative to the plural-sounding themselves or to the gender-specific himself or herself.

Theirself is used in instances when the gender of the subject is unknown or when the subject has a gender identity other than male or female, such as nonbinary. The singular, gender-neutral pronoun themself is synonymous with theirself.

Example: Anyone who says they aren’t scared of the dark is kidding theirself.

Where does theirself comes from?

Your spell checker might mark theirself as incorrect, but it’s been around for several centuries. A version of theirself was even used in Middle English. There has been an increase in usage of theirself over time across spoken and written English, especially along with the rise in the use of they as a singular, gender-neutral pronoun.

Theirself is modeled after the pronouns herself and himself and can be used in any of the ways that those are:

  • They theirself said it.
  • I hate when an author gives theirself too much credit for the success of the movie adaptation.
  • Not one of you can call theirself a true fan.
  • It’s nice to see Dana feeling like theirself again.

In many of these sentences, themselves is the more traditional choice, but it tends to imply that the subject is plural, hence the use of theirself as an alternative.

Did you know ... ?

What are some synonyms for theirself?

What are some words that share a root or word element with theirself?

What are some words that often get used in discussing theirself?

How is theirself used in real life?

Theirself is used to refer to a singular subject but otherwise can be used in many situations and constructions.


Try using theirself!

Imagine you’re taking a survey asking about your idea of the ideal coworker. Use theirself in a sentence describing what they would be like.

How to use theirself in a sentence