themselves

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English[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): /ðɛmˈsɛlvz/, /ðəmˈsɛlvz/
  • (file)
  • Hyphenation: them‧selves

Pronoun[edit]

themselves (personal pronoun)

  1. (the reflexive case of they, the third-person plural personal pronoun) The people previously mentioned, as the object of a verb or following a preposition, where the people are also the subject of the verb; also used for emphasis.
    (reflexively): They’ve hurt themselves.
    (after a preposition): They fought among themselves.
    (for emphasis): They are going to try climbing Mount Everest themselves.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 16, The Mirror and the Lamp:
      The preposterous altruism too! [] Resist not evil. It is an insane immolation of self—as bad intrinsically as fakirs stabbing themselves or anchorites warping their spines in caves scarcely large enough for a fair-sized dog.
  2. The person of unspecified gender previously mentioned, as the object of a verb or following a preposition, where the person is also the subject of the verb; also used for emphasis.
    (reflexively): Would whoever stole my phone please make themselves known.
    (after a preposition): They’ve brought this on themselves.
    (for emphasis): The children did this themselves.
    • 1611, King James Bible, Philippians 2.3:
      Let nothing be done through strife or vainglory; but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better than themselves.

Usage notes[edit]

  • For notes on the usage referring to a person of unspecified gender, see the usage notes for they.

Synonyms[edit]

See also[edit]

Translations[edit]

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