Pronunciation: (&thslash;um-selvz', &thslash;em"-), [key]
1. an emphatic form of them or they: The authors themselves left the theater. The contract was written by the partners themselves.
2. a reflexive form of they (used as the direct or indirect object of a verb or the object of a preposition): They washed themselves quickly. The painters gave themselves a week to finish the work. The noisy passengers drew attention to themselves.
3. (used after an indefinite singular antecedent in place of the definite masculine himself or the definite feminine herself): No one who ignores the law can call themselves a good citizen.
4. (used in place of they or them after as, than, or but): no soldiers braver than themselves; As for the entertainers, everyone got paid but themselves.
5. their usual, normal, characteristic selves: After a hot meal and a few hours' rest, they were themselves again.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.