Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English


English definition of “himself”


pronoun (MALE)    /hɪmˈself/
A2 used to refer to a male object of a verb that is the same person or animal as the subject of the verb : He'd cut himself shaving . Most nights he would cry himself to sleep .Reflexive forms B2 used to emphasize a particular man, boy , or male animal : Did you want to talk to the chairman himself, or could his personal assistant help you? Guy was going to buy a bookcase , but in the end he made one himself.Reflexive forms (all) by himself A2 If a man or boy does something by himself, he does it alone or without help from anyone else : Little Timmy made that snowman all by himself. Why did you leave your little brother by himself?Reflexive formsAloneSeparateness and isolation in space (all) to himself for his use only: Johnny's got the apartment to himself next week .Single, double and multiple not be/seem/feel himself not to be, seem , or feel as happy or as healthy as usual : Is Tom all right ? He doesn't seem quite himself this morning .Reflexive forms in himself UK informal used when describing or asking about a man's state of mind when he is physically ill : He's well enough in himself - he just can't shake this cold off.Feelings - general words Grammar:Pronouns: reflexive (myself, themselves, etc.)Reflexive pronouns end in -self or -selves. They refer back to the subject forms of personal pronouns (underlined in the example below):Grammar:Reflexive pronouns for same subject and objectWe often use reflexive pronouns when the subject and the object of the verb refer to the same person or thing:Grammar:Reflexive pronouns for emphasisWe can use reflexive pronouns for emphasis:Grammar:Reflexive pronouns + by meaning aloneWe often use reflexive pronouns with by to mean ‘alone’ or ‘without any help’:Grammar:Reflexive pronouns for politenessWe sometimes use reflexive pronouns instead of personal pronouns for politeness, but not as the subject of a clause:
(Definition of himself pronoun (MALE) from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of himself

Definitions of “himself” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


to pour liquid slowly over something, especially in a thin line or in small drops

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More