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[fahynd] /faɪnd/
verb (used with object), found, finding.
to come upon by chance; meet with:
He found a nickel in the street.
to locate, attain, or obtain by search or effort:
to find an apartment; to find happiness.
to locate or recover (something lost or misplaced):
I can't find my blue socks.
to discover or perceive after consideration:
to find something to be true.
to gain or regain the use of:
His anger finally helped him find his tongue.
to ascertain by study or calculation:
to find the sum of several numbers.
to feel or perceive:
He finds it so.
to become aware of, or discover (oneself), as being in a condition or location:
After a long illness, he found himself well again. She woke to find herself at home.
to discover:
Columbus found America in 1492.
  1. to determine after judicial inquiry:
    to find a person guilty.
  2. to pronounce as an official act (an indictment, verdict, or judgment).
to provide or furnish:
Bring blankets and we'll find the rest of the equipment for the trip.
South Midland and Southern U.S. (of farm animals) to give birth to:
The brown cow found a calf yesterday.
verb (used without object), found, finding.
to determine an issue after judicial inquiry:
The jury found for the plaintiff.
British Hunting. to come upon game.
an act of finding or discovering.
something found; a discovery, especially a valuable or gratifying one:
Our cook was a find.
Hunting. a discovery of game, especially foxes.
Verb phrases
find out,
  1. to discover or confirm the truth of (something).
  2. to detect or expose, as a crime or offense.
  3. to uncover the true nature, identity, or intentions of (someone):
    They found him out before he could launch the rebellion.
find fault. fault (def 16).
find oneself, to discover where one's real interests or talents lie, and follow them:
After trying many occupations, he finally found himself and became an account executive.
Origin of find
before 900; Middle English finden, Old English findan; cognate with German finden, Dutch vinden, Old Norse finna, Gothic finthan
Related forms
findable, adjective
refind, verb (used with object), refound, refinding.
2. achieve, win, earn, acquire. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for find oneself
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • One may get married, and then, there is no knowing, one may find oneself in an unpleasant position.'

  • It is not pleasant to find oneself out as a moral hypocrite.

    Women's Wild Oats C. Gasquoine Hartley
  • When one has fairly carried through a splendid benevolence of this kind, it is trying to find oneself in the wrong.

    The Land of Lost Toys Juliana Horatia Ewing
  • It must have been almost a pleasure to find oneself so neatly despatched!

  • I need not remind those of you who know it that it is scarcely a cheerful place to find oneself in after nightfall.

  • It was quite a shock on leaving to find oneself in the Wilhelmstrasse, not in Whitehall.

    The New Germany George Young
  • Tell me now—is it really as bad as they say to find oneself behind bolt and bar?

    Creditors; Pariah August Strindberg
  • To find oneself the sole proprietor of a fighting airplane is quite a treat, let me tell you.

    Flying for France James R. McConnell
British Dictionary definitions for find oneself


verb (mainly transitive) finds, finding, found (faʊnd)
to meet with or discover by chance
to discover or obtain, esp by search or effort: to find happiness
(may take a clause as object) to become aware of; realize: he found that nobody knew
(may take a clause as object) to regard as being; consider: I find this wine a little sour
to look for and point out (something to be criticized): to find fault
(also intransitive) (law) to determine an issue after judicial inquiry and pronounce a verdict (upon): the court found the accused guilty
to regain (something lost or not functioning): to find one's tongue
to reach (a target): the bullet found its mark
to provide, esp with difficulty: we'll find room for you too
to be able to pay: I can't find that amount of money
find oneself, to realize and accept one's real character; discover one's true vocation
find one's feet, to become capable or confident, as in a new job
a person, thing, etc, that is found, esp a valuable or fortunate discovery
Derived Forms
findable, adjective
Word Origin
Old English findan; related to Old Norse finna, Gothic finthan, Old High German fintan to find
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for find oneself



Old English findan "come upon, meet with, discover; obtain by search or study" (class III strong verb; past tense fand, past participle funden), from Proto-Germanic *finthan "to come upon, discover" (cf. Old Saxon findan, Old Frisian finda, Old Norse finna, Middle Dutch vinden, Old High German findan, German finden, Gothic finþan), originally "to come upon."

The Germanic word is from PIE root *pent- "to tread, go" (cf. Old High German fendeo "pedestrian;" Sanskrit panthah "path, way;" Avestan panta "way;" Greek pontos "open sea," patein "to tread, walk;" Latin pons (genitive pontis) "bridge;" Old Church Slavonic poti "path," peta "heel;" Russian put' "path, way"). To find out "to discover by scrutiny" is from 1550s (Middle English had a verb, outfinden, c.1300).


"person or thing discovered," 1825, from find (v.).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for find oneself



A remarkable discovery, esp of something unexpected (1872+)

Related Terms

if you can't find 'em

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with find oneself

find oneself

Become aware of what one wishes and can best do in life. For example, At last he's found himself—he really loves teaching. The same idea was sometimes put as to find one's feet, transferring a baby's new ability to stand or walk to a person becoming conscious of his or her abilities. [ Late 1800s ]
Discover where one is; also, how one is feeling. For example, He suddenly found himself on the right street, or To my surprise I find myself agreeing with you. [ Mid-1400s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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