/ self; NAmE / noun ( pl. selves / selvz; NAmE /)
[ C , usually sing. ] the type of person you are, especially the way you normally behave, look or feel :
You'll soon be feeling your old self again (= feeling well or happy again) .
He's not his usual happy self this morning.
Only with a few people could she be her real self (= show what she was really like rather than what she pretended to be) .
his private / professional self (= how he behaves at home / work)
[ U ] (also the self [ sing. ]) ( formal ) a person's personality or character that makes them different from other people :
Many people living in institutions have lost their sense of self (= the feeling that they are individual people) .
the inner self (= a person's emotional and spiritual character)
a lack of confidence in the self
[ U ] ( formal ) your own advantage or pleasure rather than that of other people :
She didn't do it for any reason of self.
[ C ] used to refer to a person :
You didn't hurt your little self, did you?
We look forward to seeing Mrs Brown and your good self this evening.
Old English , of Germanic origin; related to Dutch zelf and German selbe . Early use was emphatic, expressing the sense (I) myself , (he) himself , etc.