noun, plural selves.

  1. a person or thing referred to with respect to complete individuality: one’s own self.
  2. a person’s nature, character, etc.: his better self.
  3. personal interest.
  4. Philosophy.
    1. the ego; that which knows, remembers, desires, suffers, etc., as contrasted with that known, remembered, etc.
    2. the uniting principle, as a soul, underlying all subjective experience.


  1. being the same throughout, as a color; uniform.
  2. being of one piece with or the same material as the rest: drapes with a self lining.
  3. Immunology. the natural constituents of the body, which are normally not subject to attack by components of the immune system (contrasted with nonself).
  4. Obsolete. same.

pronoun, plural selves.

  1. myself, himself, herself, etc.: to make a check payable to self.

verb (used with or without object)

  1. to self-pollinate.

noun plural selves (sɛlvz)

  1. the distinct individuality or identity of a person or thing
  2. a person’s usual or typical bodily make-up or personal characteristicsshe looked her old self again
  3. good self or good selves rare a polite way of referring to or addressing a person (or persons), used following your, his, her, or their
  4. one’s own welfare or interestshe only thinks of self
  5. an individual’s consciousness of his own identity or being
  6. the self philosophy that which is essential to an individual, esp the mind or soul in Cartesian metaphysics; the ego
  7. a bird, animal, etc, that is a single colour throughout, esp a self-coloured pigeon


  1. not standard myself, yourself, etcseats for self and wife


  1. of the same colour or materiala dress with a self belt See also self-coloured
  2. obsolete the same

pron.Old English self, seolf, sylf “one’s own person, -self; own, same,” from Proto-Germanic *selbaz (cf. Old Norse sjalfr, Old Frisian self, Dutch zelf, Old High German selb, German selb, selbst, Gothic silba), Proto-Germanic *selbaz “self,” from PIE *sel-bho-, suffixed form of root *s(w)e-, pronoun of the third person and reflexive (referring back to the subject of a sentence), also used in forms denoting the speaker’s social group, “(we our-)selves” (see idiom). Trying to define yourself is like trying to bite your own teeth. [Alan Watts] Its use in compounds to form reflective pronouns grew out of independent use in Old English. As a noun from early 14c. n. pl. selves (sĕlz)

  1. The total, essential, or particular being of a person; the individual.
  2. One’s consciousness of one’s own being or identity; the ego.
  3. That which the immune system identifies as belonging to the body.

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