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flatter oneself

Be gratified vainly by one's own achievement; exaggerate one's good points. For example, He flattered himself that his presentation at the sales conference was a success, or She flattered herself that she was by far the best skater at the rink. This usage is often put negatively, as in Don't flatter yourself—we haven't won the contract yet. [ Late 1500s ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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  • Yet I can see no ground, except a desire to flatter oneself, for not crediting the élan vital with some such digestive intention.

    Winds Of Doctrine George Santayana
  • Vain illusion to flatter oneself that one can ever cure an actress of the faults instilled in her from childhood!

  • Motionless sits he; 'astonished,' one may flatter oneself, 'at the proud bearing (fiere contenance) of the Parisians.'

    The French Revolution Thomas Carlyle

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