Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • pro. That one identical with him:
  • pro. Used reflexively as the direct or indirect object of a verb or the object of a preposition: He congratulated himself.
  • pro. Used for emphasis: He himself found the courage.
  • pro. Used in an absolute construction: In the black himself, he could offer financial assistance to his cousin.
  • pro. His normal or healthy condition or state: He's feeling himself again. See Usage Note at myself.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • pro. him; the male object of a verb or preposition that also appears as the subject
  • pro. he; used as an intensifier, often to emphasize that the referent is the exclusive participant in the predicate
  • pro. The subject or non-reflexive object of a predicate; "he himself".

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • prep. Themselves. See hemself.
  • pro. An emphasized form of the third person masculine pronoun; -- used as a subject usually with he; ; used alone in the predicate, either in the nominative or objective case.
  • pro. One's true or real character; one's natural temper and disposition; the state of being in one's right or sane mind (after unconsciousness, passion, delirium, or abasement).

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • An emphatic or reflexive form of the third personal pronoun masculine, either nominative or objective.
  • The neuter similarly used. Now itself.
  • The dative (objective) plural, similarly used. Now themselves.

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English himselfum : him, him; see him + selfum, dative of self, self; see self.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • Note that in ˜Pat thinks Chris treated himself/him™, the antecedent of ˜himself™ must be the subject of ˜treated™, while the antecedent of ˜him™ must not be.

    Logical Form

  • The slaveholder, in making out his own title to himself, makes out the title of every human being to _himself_.

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Part 1 of 4

  • "_No man liveth to himself and no man dieth to himself_."

    Freedom Talks No. II

  • Mrs. Browning, usually a better spokesman for the typical English poet than is Browning himself, likewise conceives it the artist's duty to show us his own nature, to be "greatly _himself always_, which is the hardest thing for a man to be, perhaps."

    The Poet's Poet : essays on the character and mission of the poet as interpreted in English verse of the last one hundred and fifty years

  • It is the habit of men of all nations to want to have things both ways; the Englishman is unfortunately so unable to express himself, _even to himself_, that he has never realized this truth, much less confessed it -- hence his appearance of hypocrisy.

    New York Times Current History; The European War, Vol 2, No. 3, June, 1915 April-September, 1915

  • He was deeply superstitious, and while he could and did change the bottles and place the poison within his cousin's reach, while he placed the rusty pin in the crutch where it would inflict a wound on Zaidos 'body, while he could plan endlessly to rid himself of his cousin, he would not _himself_ directly aim the blow or fire the deadly shot.

    Shelled by an Unseen Foe

  • [The sense is clearly _draw himself out, release himself_; but K.B. and Speght throw no light on the word.]

    The Rowley Poems

  • No respect is paid to any person; the cobler on that day thinks himself equal to the parson, who generally gets mounted like the rest of his flock; whilst one of his porters _boasts and prides himself_ in having, but just before, got the _Squire_ across the pole.

    A Righte Merrie Christmasse The Story of Christ-Tide

  • He could not realize how true to _himself_ he had been that afternoon, or how truly the impulse that had prompted him to deny his calling was an instinct of his own strong manhood -- the instinct to be accepted or rejected for what he was within himself, rather than for the mere accident of his calling and position in life.

    The Calling of Dan Matthews

  • Hence the importance of knowing himself, and hence the definition of philosophy as a man's _knowledge of himself_.

    A History of Mediaeval Jewish Philosophy

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