Meaning of “ourselves” in the English Dictionary


"ourselves" in English

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uk /ˌaʊəˈselvz/ /ˌɑːˈselvz/ us /ˌaʊ.ɚˈselvz/ /ˌaʊrˈselvz/

A2 used when the subject of the verb is "we" or the speaker and one or more others, and the object is the same group of people:

We went to get ourselves something to eat.
John and I promised ourselves a good holiday this year.

formal used to emphasize the subject "we":

We ourselves realize that there are flaws in the plan.
(all) by ourselves

alone or without help from anyone else:

We were all by ourselves in the restaurant.
Nobody wanted to come with us, so we went by ourselves.
We couldn't do all the work by ourselves.
(all) to ourselves

for our use only:

The hotel was very quiet so we had the swimming pool all to ourselves .

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

"ourselves" in American English

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ourselvespronoun [ pl ]

us /ɑʊərˈselvz, ɑr-/

the person speaking and one or more others; the reflexive form of we:

We promised ourselves a long vacation this year.
It’s a big garden, but we do the gardening by ourselves (= without help).
Everyone else is busy, so we’ll have to go all by ourselves (= without other people).
We had the swimming pool all to ourselves (= we did not have to share it).

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