Meaning of SELF in English
self S2 W3 /self/ BrE AmE noun ( plural selves /selvz/)
[ Language: Old English ]
1 . [countable usually singular] the type of person you are, your character, your typical behaviour etc
sb’s usual/normal self
Sid was not his usual smiling self.
be/look/feel (like) your old self (=be the way you usually are again, especially after having been ill, unhappy etc)
Jim was beginning to feel like his old self again.
sb’s true/real self (=what someone is really like, rather than what they pretend to be like)
Peter was the only one to whom she showed her true self.
2 . sb’s sense of self someone’s idea that they are a separate person, different from other people:
a child’s developing sense of self
3 . be a shadow/ghost of your former self to not be as healthy, strong etc as you used to be
4 . [uncountable] a word written in business letters, on cheques etc meaning yourself:
a cheque written to self
5 . [countable] used to refer to a person:
a picture of a journalist and your good self (=you)
• • •
▪ your normal/usual self
When she came home at Christmas she seemed very quiet and not her normal self.
▪ your old self (=the way you were before an illness or other change)
He sounded more like his old self than the last time she had called.
▪ your true/real self (=your real character)
At last he had revealed his true self.
▪ your inner self (=your real character or feelings that are usually hidden from other people)
Over the years she had put up barriers to protect her inner self.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012