beside oneself


by or at the side of; near: Sit down beside me.
compared with: Beside him other writers seem amateurish.
apart from; not connected with: beside the point; beside the question.
besides ( defs 4, 5 ).
along the side of something: The family rode in the carriage, and the dog ran along beside.
besides ( def 2 ).
beside oneself, almost out of one's senses from a strong emotion, as from joy, delight, anger, fear, or grief: He was beside himself with rage when the train left without him.

before 1000; Middle English; earlier bi-siden, Old English bī sīdan, be sīdan; see be-, side

beside, besides (see usage note at the current entry).

For the prepositional meanings “over and above, in addition to” and “except” besides is preferred, especially in edited writing: Besides these honors he received a sum of money. We heard no other sound besides the breaking surf. However, beside sometimes occurs with these meanings as well. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
beside (bɪˈsaɪd)
prep (often foll by with)
1.  next to; at, by, or to the side of
2.  as compared with
3.  away from; wide of: beside the point
4.  archaic besides
5.  beside oneself overwhelmed; overwrought: beside oneself with grief
6.  at, by, to, or along the side of something or someone
[Old English be sīdan; see by, side]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. be sidan "by the side of" (only as two words), from sidan dative of side (q.v.). By 1200, formed as one word and used as both adverb and preposition. The alternative M.E. meaning "outside" led to the sense preserved in beside oneself "out of one's wits" (late 15c.).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

beside oneself

In a state of extreme agitation or excitement, as in She was beside herself when she found she'd lost her ring, or Peter was beside himself with joyhe'd won the poetry award. This phrase appears in the New Testament (Acts 26:24): "Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning makes thee mad." [Late 1400s]

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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