Definition of itself in English:



  • 1[reflexive] Used as the object of a verb or preposition to refer to a thing or animal previously mentioned as the subject of the clause:

    ‘his horse hurt itself’
    ‘the company has established itself as a leader in the field’
    • ‘That is the situation in which discredited insurer Equitable Life has found itself.’
    • ‘The king of those younger peers will be drawing attention to itself this week.’
    • ‘This is a kind of grafting in a new position of part of an animal upon itself.’
    • ‘It has spread like a virus from Kabul and Kandahar and established itself in every part of the globe.’
    • ‘In all the warmer parts of the earth this form stamps itself in grand simplicity on the landscape.’
    • ‘All of this means that SAS could find itself subject to a bid from a bigger rival.’
    • ‘Yet the Treasury simply switched off all hearing aids and neatly absolved itself of blame.’
    • ‘A glance at the fixture list, and you wonder if the cycle is about to perpetuate itself afresh.’
    • ‘The horse allows itself to be groomed and you honor the horse by grooming him.’
    • ‘Is this not the same publication which prides itself on maximum prurience every Sunday?’
    • ‘I haven't even come out in pimples as reassuring evidence of my body purifying itself.’
    • ‘It has hurt itself financially, and the turn to the Right in this country is very serious.’
    • ‘This dubious gift manifests itself just before take-off on a school trip to France.’
    • ‘He already feels a review of the way the company markets itself to potential clients may be called for.’
    • ‘For example, a tower of cubes can bend itself over at a right angle to pick up another cube.’
    • ‘First, when we realize that what we are saying is a direct and perfect expression of itself.’
    • ‘Is the same quality not to be applauded when it manifests itself in isolation?’
    • ‘The Alliance never managed to establish itself as a party with credible policies.’
    • ‘Neither as witty nor as intelligent as it believes itself to be, the book is however ambitious.’
    • ‘As dawn was beginning to show itself, the horse stopped and refused to walk any further.’
  • 2[emphatic] Used to emphasize a particular thing or animal mentioned:

    ‘the roots are several inches long, though the plant itself is only a foot tall’
    • ‘This was because the exercise of such discretion was itself subject to judicial review.’
    • ‘The shadow of the other festivals is to blame, but so too is the weakening of the arts programme itself.’
    • ‘I would add that the jurisdiction clause itself is in terms which are in no way exceptional.’
    • ‘The irony is made only more perfect by the absolute lack thereof on the site itself.’
    • ‘The meter itself is in perfect condition it was only the leather case that had gone a bit moth eaten.’
    • ‘This goes against previous theories that the virus itself is responsible for deaths.’
    • ‘The horse itself will not ever perform well if it does not have a good groom.’
    • ‘The very existence of the subject itself already imposes a terrible ethical burden.’
    • ‘This could be seen as a metaphor for writing fiction, but the story itself seems too schematic.’
    • ‘In any event certainty is best achieved by express words in the arbitration clause itself.’
    • ‘The coffee itself is better than some, not as good as others, but profanely overpriced.’
    • ‘That memorial itself will be the subject of a separate international competition.’
    • ‘The shuttle bus from the Villa San Michele brought me down to the Arno Valley and the city itself.’
    • ‘I don't like the fact that the argument for total subjectivity is itself universal.’
    • ‘It is quite possible for a name to refer to something of which it, itself, is part.’
    • ‘Things here are changing fast, not only in Hong Kong itself but also its outlying islands.’
    • ‘History often refers to both the past itself, and to what historians write about the past.’
    • ‘The ego is itself the centre of consciousness and it is what we refer to when we use the terms I or me.’
    • ‘The monarchy itself will increasingly suffer from this politics of benign neglect.’
    • ‘So followers of the affect of the draw were hoping for a horse drawn low to land the big race itself.’
    • ‘Its marketing focus needs to be on the consumer, rather than the service itself.’
    1. 2.1 Used after a quality to emphasize what a perfect example of that quality someone or something is:
      ‘Mrs Vincent was kindness itself’
      • ‘They are wonderful reminders of the enduring mystery and magic that is childhood itself.’


Old English (see it, self).