Meaning of SELF in English

I. ˈself, ˈseu̇f, South often ˈse(ə)f pronoun

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English self, seolf, sylf; akin to Old Frisian & Old Saxon self, Old High German selb, Old Norse sjālfr, Gothic silba; akin to Latin se oneself — more at suicide

1. : myself

he died when we — self , two brothers, one sister — were very young — Current Biography

2. : himself , herself

his family, living in a four-roomed house, consisted of self , wife, and six — I.J.C.Brown

II. adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English self, seolf, sylf

1. obsolete : belonging to oneself : own

by self and violent hands took off her life — Shakespeare

2. obsolete : identical , same

that self chain about his neck which he forswore most monstrously to have — Shakespeare


a. : having a single character or quality throughout : uniform , unmixed ; specifically : having one color only : self-colored

self a flower

b. of an archer's bow : made of a single piece of wood — contrasted with backed

c. : of the same kind (as in color, material, or pattern) as something with which it is used

a self belt

a self trimming

III. noun

( plural selves ˈselvz, ˈseu̇vz, South often ˈse(ə)vz ; see sense 6 )

Etymology: Middle English, from self, pron.


a. : the entire person of an individual

his fair daughter's self … is my object — Robert Browning

b. : the realization or embodiment of an abstract quality

she was beauty's self — James Thomson †1748


a. : a personality or mode of behavior regarded as typical of a particular individual

his true self was at last revealed

b. : an aspect of one's personality predominant at a certain time or under certain conditions

his better self

his weaker self

his reckless self

my clothes keep my various selves buttoned up together — L.P.Smith

c. : a person in his normal state of health or best physical or mental condition

feel like my old self today

looked like his old self in the ring


a. : the integrated unity of subjective experience specifically including those characteristics and attributes of the experiencing organism of which it is reflexively aware

b. : the internal regulatory system of response and activity tendencies within the organism : the source of social adaptation and growth of the individual personality

c. : the dynamic organization of patterns of behavior acquired through social frustration

4. : personal interest or advantage : self-interest

the really successful people in it are those who put service before self — Farmer's Weekly (South Africa)


a. usually capitalized , objective idealism : the supreme self : absolute


(1) often capitalized , Hinduism : atman

(2) Buddhism : a dynamic unstable agglomerate of skandhas that in itself possesses no inherent substantiality or enduring quality and that continues in constant flux until final dissolution at death

6. plural selfs -fs

a. : an individual produced by self-fertilization — distinguished from crossbred

b. : a self-colored individual

IV. verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

transitive verb

1. : to cause (individuals of the same race or strain) to breed together : inbreed

2. : to pollinate with pollen from the same flower or plant : self-fertilize : self-pollinate

intransitive verb

: to engage in self-pollinating : undergo self-pollination

try to prevent test strains from selfing

V. noun

: material that is part of an individual organism

ability of the immune system to distinguish self from nonself

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.