Definition of ourself in English:



  • 1Used instead of ‘ourselves’ typically when ‘we’ refers to people in general rather than a definite group of people.

    [reflexive] ‘we must choose which aspects of ourself to express to the world’
    [emphatic] ‘this is our affair—we deal with it ourself’
    • ‘And yet, despite that fact, we still find ourself on a fiscal trajectory that is probably unsustainable.’
    • ‘But here again, Lou, I hope that if that passes, that we don't pat ourself on the back and say we've fixed the problem, because clearly we have not.’
    • ‘We go to highschool and struggle through years of trying to be accepted, trying to impress people, wanting to be with the right crowds and do the right things, trying to make a name for ourself.’
    • ‘I made the case why we shouldn't have to pay as much as we are paying, and that the part of the problem we can solve ourself we are solving.’
    • ‘We have rights to defend ourself and our people.’
    • ‘Well, I guess the situation that we find ourself in now is not necessarily the situation I'm going to find myself in when retirement comes.’
    • ‘We are going to restrict ourself to the crimes.’
    • ‘And then we had convinced ourself we can do a family show.’
    • ‘He enabled us to believe in ourself as smart people who could defend our opinions, and gave us the conviction that our opinions were worth defending.’
    • ‘I think we've got to be engaged ourself in the process, not just turn it over to the Europeans to do.’
    • ‘That's who we have to price ourself against in Europe.’
    • ‘He's driven by principles and values and his duty as he sees it under our Constitution to protect ourself.’
    • ‘We can change our moods ourself if we believe it.’
    • ‘We pretty much have this helicopter all to ourself.’
    • ‘We have to make sure the fundamental due protections are given in order for us to, number one, to be true to ourself, but number two, we want to get our hands on others through extradition.’
    • ‘First of all it's Ohio this time - and more importantly, we've got ourself a Senator with some backbone.’
    • ‘We have resigned ourself to the hand that geography and history has dealt our people.’
    • ‘It happened that after two years of us being there, we found ourself in the right time at the right place.’
    • ‘So, we could really have sold our shrimp boat last year and we built it ourself and it was kind of hard to do so we kept it.’
    • ‘And I'm saying, we've got to start testing that and asking ourself, is that true or is it just something we're telling ourselves?’
  • 2archaic Used instead of ‘myself’ by a sovereign or other person in authority.

    ‘witnessed ourself at Southampton this thirteenth day of October’


The standard reflexive form corresponding to we and us is ourselves, as in we can only blame ourselves. The singular form ourself, first recorded in the 14th century, is sometimes used in modern English, typically where ‘we’ refers to people in general. This use, though logical, is uncommon and not widely accepted in standard English