From Middle Dutch self, from Old Dutch self, *selvo, from Proto-Germanic *selbaz, from Proto-Indo-European *selbʰ- (“one's own”), from *s(w)e- (“separate, apart”). Compare Low German sulv, West Frisian self, English self, German selbst, selber, Danish selv.
- (intensifier) oneself, referring to the subject of a sentence: myself, yourself, itself, ourselves, themselves etc.
Zelf ging hij er niet heen.
- He himself did not go there.
- oneself, by oneself, alone
Ik kan dat niet zelf, kun je me helpen?
- I can't do that (by) myself, can you help me?
- (alone): alleen
zelf n (uncountable)