Meaning of “herself” in the English Dictionary

american-english dictionary

"herself" in British English

See all translations

herselfpronoun

uk /hɜːˈself/ us /hɝːˈself/

A2 used to refer to a female object of a verb, that is the same person or animal as the subject of the verb:

She kept telling herself that nothing was wrong.
My mother would worry herself to death if she knew what I was doing.

B2 used to emphasize a particular woman, girl, or female animal:

She decorated the cake herself.
She herself admitted that it was wrong.
(all) by herself

A2 If a woman or girl does something by herself, she does it alone or without help from anyone else:

She lives by herself in an enormous house.
Holly's only three but she wrote her name all by herself.
(all) to herself

for her use only:

Mum's got the house to herself this weekend.
not be/seem/feel herself

not to be, seem, or feel as happy or healthy as usual:

Is Michelle all right? She doesn't seem quite herself at the moment.
in herself UK informal

used when describing or asking about a woman's state of mind when she is physically ill:

I know she's got back trouble but how is she in herself?

More examples

  • She went shopping to cheer herself up.
  • She was too frightened to go herself, so she sent her son to find out the news.
  • She gave me a signed photograph of herself.
  • She sprayed herself with perfume.
  • "I'm so glad to see you!" she said, seating herself between Eleanor and Marianne.

(Definition of “herself” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"herself" in American English

See all translations

herselfpronoun

us /hərˈself/ female

the female being spoken about, the reflexive form of she:

She kept telling herself that nothing was wrong.

Herself is sometimes used to emphasize a female subject or object of a sentence:

She herself was to blame.
(all) by herself

If a woman or girl does something (all) by herself, she does it alone or without help from anyone:

Holly wrote her name all by herself.
not herself

If a woman or girl is not herself, she is not in her usual mental or physical condition:

Janeen hasn’t been herself recently.
(all) to herself

If a woman or girl has something (all) to herself, she has it for her own use only:

She’s got the house all to herself while her husband is away.

(Definition of “herself” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)