find oneself

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to: navigation, search




find oneself (third-person singular simple present finds oneself, present participle finding oneself, simple past and past participle found oneself)

  1. (idiomatic) To learn, or attempt to learn, what kind of person one is and what one wants in life.
    When he was in his early twenties, he backpacked around Europe to find himself.
    • 2017 June, Lexi Blake, Revenge, New York, N.Y.: Berkley Books, →ISBN, page 292:
      All that mattered now was figuring out what she wanted to do with the rest of her life. It was time to find herself again. The shelby she'd been without Drew. Strong and confident.
  2. (idiomatic) To unexpectedly or unintentionally begin to do or experience something.
    As you enter the cafe, you find yourself wondering why they decided to paint the entire room blue.
    When news of his wife’s murder spread around the media, he found himself in front of a press conference explaining his actions.
    • 1817 December, [Jane Austen], chapter XII, in Persuasion; published in Northanger Abbey: And Persuasion. [...] With a Biographical Notice of the Author. In Four Volumes, volume III, London: John Murray, Albemarle-Street, 1818, OCLC 318384910, page 241:
      Anne and Henrietta, finding themselves the earliest of the party the next morning, agreed to stroll down to the sea before breakfast.
    • 2015, Nathan W. Harter, “Cameron Finds Himself Transfixed by “A Sunday Afternoon on the Island of La Grande Jatte””, in Leadership and Coherence: A Cognitive Approach (Leadership: Research & Practice), New York, N.Y.; Hove, East Sussex: Routledge, →ISBN, page 71:
      There is a scene in the popular movie "Ferris Bueller's Day Off" when the character Cameron finds himself at the Art Institute of Chicago transfixed by "A Sunday Afternoon on The Island of La Grande Jatte" by Georges Seurat.
    • 2017 January 19, Peter Bradshaw, “T2 Trainspotting review – choose a sequel that doesn’t disappoint”, in The Guardian[1], London, archived from the original on 20 January 2017:
      [Danny] Boyle revives some of the stylistic tics which found themselves being ripped off by geezer-gangster Britflicks back in the day, but now the freezeframes are briefer, sharper; the movie itself refers back to the original with variant flashback versions of famous scenes, but also Super 8-type images of the boys' poignant boyhood in primary school.
  3. (idiomatic) To be in a particular state of mind.
    How do you find yourself this morning?
  4. (literally) To find (something) for oneself.
    I need to find myself a boat.
    • 1800, Abu’l-Fath Jalal-ud-din Muhammad Akbar; Francis Gladwin, transl., “The Ahdy”, in Ayeen Akbery; or The Institutes of the Emperor Akber. Translated from the Original Persian [...] In Two Volumes, volume I, London: Printed by G. Auld, Greville-Street, for J. Sewell [et al.], OCLC 973231630, part II (Containing Regulations for the Military Department), page 205:
      On entering the ſervice he finds himſelf a horſe, and when that dies he is mounted by government; when his horſe dies proper officers make out a certificate thereof, which is called a ſaketnameh, in order that his pay may be regulated accordingly, for until he has found another horſe, he ceaſes to draw any pay for one; and if he neglects to obtain the certificate, he is not allowed any thing from the time of the laſt muſter.
  5. (literally) To discover oneself to be in a particular place.
    I got drunk and woke to find myself in the neighbour’s garden the next morning.
    • 1851, J[ean-H[enri] Merle D’Aubigné; W. K. Tweedie, transl., “Discourse I. The Testimony of God.”, in Rationalism and Popery Refuted: Three Courses on the Authority of the Scriptures. [...] Translated from the French, with a Preface, Johnstone & Hunter, OCLC Rationalism and Popery Refuted, page 8:
      If you found yourselves some day at the base of Mont Blanc, where that giant of mountains strikes his immovable foundations into the earth, and if you saw some little ants issuing from their hillock, labouring, scraping, picking, running, taking, one a blade of grass, another a grain of sand, would you believe that Mont Blanc was about to be annihilated?