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[him-self; medially often im-self] /hɪmˈsɛlf; medially often ɪmˈsɛlf/
an emphatic appositive of him or he1 :
He himself spoke to the men.
a reflexive form of him:
He cut himself.
(used in absolute constructions):
Himself the soul of honor, he included many rascals among his intimates.
(used as the object of a preposition or as the direct or indirect object of a verb):
The old car had room only for himself and three others.
(used in comparisons after as or than):
His wife is as stingy as himself.
his normal or customary self:
He is himself again.
Irish English. a man of importance, especially the master of the house:
Himself will be wanting an early dinner.
Origin of himself
before 900; Middle English him selven, Old English him selfum, dative singular of hē self he himself; see him, self
Usage note
See myself. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for himself
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It was only two days since his long talk with himself at the pond.

  • "And that would be all the same as telling Alcibiades himself," rejoined Milza.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • "I'll stop it," he said to himself, and half-consciously he buttoned his coat.

    Changing Winds St. John G. Ervine
  • "In all Geta's troubles, he thinks more of you than he does of himself," said she.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • And this when he himself would have given up everything so that he might not miss them!

    A Nest of Spies Pierre Souvestre
British Dictionary definitions for himself


/hɪmˈsɛlf; medially often ɪmˈsɛlf/
  1. the reflexive form of he or him
  2. (intensifier): the king himself waved to me
(preceded by a copula) his normal or usual self: he seems himself once more
(Irish & Scot) the man of the house: how is himself?
Word Origin
Old English him selfum, dative singular of hē self; see he1, self
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 himself

Old English him selfum, from him, dative/accusative personal pronoun, + self, here used as an inflected adjective.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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