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From Middle English oure-selfe; equivalent to our +‎ -self.


  • IPA(key): /aʊə(ɹ)ˈsɛlf/, /ɑː(ɹ)ˈsɛlf/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛlf



  1. The reflexive of the editorial or royal we: myself (as used by a writer or speaker who is referring to themself as we).
    In the present study, we will limit ourself to the simplest of cases.
    • 1838, Charles Dickens, Sketches of Young Gentlemen
      Without in any way committing ourself upon this point, we have merely to observe, that we are ready to receive sealed offers containing a full specification of age, temper, appearance, and condition []
  2. The reflexive of the generic we: oneself.
    We should love our neighbor as ourself.
    • 1962, Princeton Alumni Weekly (volume 63, page 24)
      He then offered to guide us down to see for ourself, but one look down that dark hole to the water about 60 feet below completely dampened our speluncean ardor.

Usage notes[edit]

  • The normal reflexive form of we is ourselves. This form can generally be used alternatively in the above cases, too.

Coordinate terms[edit]