American English

Definition of self noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (pl. selves
    jump to other results
  1. 1[countable, usually singular] the type of person you are, especially the way you normally behave, look, or feel You'll soon be feeling like your old self again (= feeling well or happy again). He's not his usual happy self this morning. Only with a few people could she be her real self (= show what she was really like rather than what she pretended to be). his private/professional self (= how he behaves at home/work)
  2. 2[uncountable] (also the self [singular]) (formal) a person's personality or character that makes them different from other people Many people living in institutions have lost their sense of self (= the feeling that they are individual people). the inner self (= a person's emotional and spiritual character)
  3. 3[uncountable] (formal) your own advantage or pleasure rather than that of other people She didn't do it for any reason of self. Self, self, self! That's all you ever think about!
  4. 4[countable] used to refer to a person You didn't hurt your little self, did you? We look forward to seeing Mrs. Brown and your good self this evening.
  5. Idioms
    be a shadow/ghost of your former self
    jump to other results
    to not have the strength, influence, etc. that you used to have When his career ended, he became a shadow of his former self.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: self