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 group of people, animals, or objects previously mentioned, as the object of a verb or following a preposition (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, in 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 reflexive case of they, the third-person singular personal pronoun. The single person previously mentioned, as the object of a verb or following a preposition (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 child 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.
    • 1967, Sleigh, Barbara, Jessamy, 1993 edition, Sevenoaks, Kent: Bloomsbury, ISBN 0 340 19547 9, page 18:
      In fact she was so busy doing all the things that anyone might, who finds themselves alone in an empty house, that she did not notice at first when it began to turn dusk and the rooms to grow dim.
    • For more examples of usage of this term, see Citations:themselves.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Regarding the use of singular themselves, see they.

Synonyms[edit]

See also[edit]

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.