American English

Definition of themselves pronoun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    , NAmE//ðɛmˈsɛlvz//
    jump to other results
  1. 1(the reflexive form of they) used when people or animals performing an action are also affected by it They seemed to be enjoying themselves. The children were arguing amongst themselves. They've bought themselves a new car.
  2. 2used to emphasize they or a plural subject They themselves had had a similar experience. Don and Julie paid for it themselves.
  3. 3used instead of himself or herself to refer to a person whose sex is not mentioned or not known There wasn't anyone who hadn't enjoyed themselves. Although this use of themselves is fairly common, especially in spoken English, many people think it is not correct.
  4. Idioms
      (all) by themselves
      jump to other results
    1. 1alone; without anyone else They wanted to spend the evening by themselves.
    2. 2without help They did the cooking by themselves.
    (all) to themselves
    jump to other results
    for them alone; not shared with anyone
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: themselves