Meaning of “himself” in the English Dictionary

"himself" in British English

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himselfpronoun

uk /hɪmˈself/ us /hɪmˈself/

himself pronoun (MALE)

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.

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?
Tom was going to buy a bookcase, but in the end he made one himself.
(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?
(all) to himself

for his use only:

Johnny's got the apartment to himself next week.
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.
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.

More examples

  • How can he afford to buy himself a brand new car?
  • He wrapped a robe around himself before answering the door.
  • He saw himself reflected in the shop window.
  • He put his hands on the side of the pool and pulled himself out of the water.
  • Simon's looking very pleased with himself today.

himself pronoun (FEMALE/MALE)

used to refer to an object of a verb that is the same person or animal as the subject of the verb, when referring to a person or animal whose sex is not known or not considered to be important:

Any fool can teach himself to type.

Idiom(s)

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

"himself" in American English

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himselfpronoun

us /hɪmˈself, ɪm-/ male

the male being spoken about; the reflexive form of he:

He bought himself a new coat.

Himself is sometimes used to emphasize a male subject or object of a sentence:

I got to meet the president himself.

Himself is also used to refer to a person whose sex is not known:

I hope nobody’s hurt himself.
Note: Some people find this use of him to be offensive.
(all) by himself

If a man or boy does something (all) by himself, he does it alone or without help from anyone else:

Jamie made that snowman all by himself.
not himself

If a man or boy is not himself, he is not in his usual mental or physical condition:

Hugh hasn’t been himself since the accident.
(all) to himself

If a man or boy has something (all) to himself, he has it for his own use only:

He’s got the house to himself tonight.

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