Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Wikipedia.
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
To try hard or concentrate one's abilities (toward something). Without the preposition "to," it refers to a concentrated effort in general. I know you think you won't be able to understand this level of math, but you just need to apply yourself, and you'll find success. If we apply ourselves to the problem, we'll find a solution eventually.
See also: apply
find it in (oneself) (to do something)
To have the courage, conviction, or compassion to do or go through with something. If you could find it in yourself to lend me a few hundred bucks, it would really get me out of a jam. I simply couldn't find it in myself to fire him after he had just found out his father had passed away.
See also: find
1. To discover and pursue one's true and inherent character, passion, skill, or vocation. I know you're unhappy in your job, so I think you should take some time off to really find yourself. Many students leave college and realize that they still have yet to find themselves.
2. To discover, recognize, or realize one's location, thoughts, or sentiments. Lost in a deep reverie, I suddenly found myself in a neighborhood I didn't recognize. I find myself inclined to agree with the professor's assessment.
See also: find
To hold a vain, self-congratulatory, and exaggeratedly high opinion of oneself and/or one's achievements. Yeah, don't flatter yourself—she only asked you out to dinner because she wants to ask you about your brother. Gaston likes to flatter himself that he's the best man in town, but everyone knows he's just a pompous jerk.
See also: flatter
go hang yourself
Used as a rude imperative to indicate one's disapproval, apathy, or disdain regarding someone's words, thoughts, or actions. If you really think it's your prerogative to tell me how to run my business, then you can go hang yourself for all I care. She can go hang herself if she thinks I'm going to come into work on a Saturday.
help (oneself) (to something)
To serve oneself (something); to take, consume, or indulge in (something) freely or without permission or restraint. There's plenty of food in the kitchen, so please, help yourselves to more. The vagrant they had given shelter to for the night helped himself to the family's prized set of silverware. The maps at the information kiosk are free, so tourists are welcome to help themselves.
See also: help
To behave in a particular way. I need to bear myself bravely if I want to overcome this fear. I know you guys aren't thrilled about going to Great-Aunt Mildred's, but please try to bear yourselves politely.
See also: bear
make a pig of (oneself)
To eat too much food in one sitting or to eat sloppily. There's so much good food here. I'm definitely going to make a pig of myself tonight. This is a nice restaurant, so please try to mind your manners and not make pigs of yourselves.
keep (oneself) busy
To remain occupied (with something); to ensure that one is not idle or bored. I found that I had to keep myself busy while I was grieving. I just couldn't bear to sit still, or else I would start thinking about everything that happened. I bought a bunch of coloring books and board games so the kids can keep themselves busy during the break from school.
keep (oneself) to (oneself)
To refrain from attempting to communicate or make connections with others. You'll never make friends if you keep yourself to yourself all the time. The old man down the street always kept himself to himself. I never even knew his name until my parents pointed out his obituary.
See also: keep
To reprove or rebuke oneself; to be angry with or disappointed in oneself. Usually used in continuous tenses. I knew I'd be kicking myself later if I came back and the bag was gone, so I went ahead and bought it. Plenty of companies are kicking themselves for not investing in the technology at an earlier stage.
See also: kick
kill (oneself) (doing something)
To overexert oneself or overextend one's effort while doing something. Don't kill yourself trying to get the report done tonight—it's not due until next week anyway. They're killing themselves finishing the last touches on the exterior of the house before the storm hits us.
See also: kill
kill (oneself) laughing
To laugh hysterically and uncontrollably. The comedian had the whole audience killing themselves laughing. My ribs actually hurt from it! I was surprised by how funny my date was last night. I was killing myself laughing at some of her stories!
fight among yourselves/ourselves/themselves
To argue or bicker within a certain group of people. I have nothing to do with this, so you guys can fight among yourselves.
To remember or become aware of one's purpose, intention, or situation, especially after a momentary interruption, diversion, or distraction; to become recomposed. The protestor's chants threw the presentation into chaos for a moment, but the speaker soon recollected himself and carried on as before. She appeared to drift off into thought halfway through her story, before recollecting herself and picking up where she left off.
See also: recollect
To repeat what one has previously done or stated. Be sure to take detailed notes, because I will not repeat myself. People surprised at the sudden shift in public opinion would do well to remember that history tends to repeat itself.
See also: repeat
1. To demonstrate one's talents, merits, or desirable characteristics, especially in order to become employed. I hate having to sell myself during job interviews—I always feel like I sound arrogant or phony! Remember that your profile on these dating website is meant to sell yourself, so really highlight the things you like best about you! You're selling yourself short, dude—you've got a lot of talents that you're not giving yourself credit for!
2. To degrade, compromise, or give away control of one's principles or potential for quick, short-term monetary gain. People commissioning artists often expect them to sell themselves for a pittance, simply because they feel like they can get away with it. You do realize that by standing against the labor unions, you're basically saying that you're willing to sell yourself for as little as the company sees fit, right?
See also: sell
trouble (someone or oneself) about (someone or something)
1. To bother or inconvenience someone with a question or request about someone or something. I'm sorry to trouble you about this again, but I need your help with a new problem that has cropped up. You should never worry about troubling your teachers or parents about someone who is bullying you in school.
2. To concern oneself with or worry about someone or something. Often used in negative constructions. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is always used. It's just a minor technical error that should resolve itself—don't trouble yourself about it. I know I need to stop troubling myself about such negative people, but I can't help letting their comments get to me.
trouble (someone or oneself) with (someone or something)
1. To bother or inconvenience someone with something, such as a problem, question, or task. There's no need to trouble the boss with this—the project manager should be able to help you resolve it. Excuse me, could I trouble you with a couple of questions for my school paper?
2. To concern oneself with or worry about someone or something. Often used in negative constructions. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is always used. It's just a minor technical error that should resolve itself—don't trouble yourself with it. I know I need to stop troubling myself with such negative people, but I can't help letting their comments get to me.
3. To burden or inconvenience oneself with the undertaking of some task. Often used in negative constructions. In this usage, a reflexive pronoun is always used. Don't trouble yourself with cutting the lawn, Jeremy, I can do that another time. He couldn't trouble himself with backing up his files, and now he's lost all of his work.
trouble (oneself) (to do something)
To burden or inconvenience oneself with the undertaking of some task. Often used in negative constructions. Don't trouble yourself, Jeremy, I can cut the lawn myself another time. He couldn't trouble himself to make a backup of the computer, and now he's lost all of his work.
1. Alone; separate from everyone else. Can we sit here, or are you guys eating by yourselves? I'm not letting you kids go to that park by yourselves—crossing that busy street is very dangerous!
2. Independently or relying on one's own abilities. I really don't want to have to call a plumber—can you guys do this repair by yourselves?
say to (oneself)
1. To vocalize one's thoughts without addressing them to anyone in particular, especially in a lowered voice or in one's mind. In this usage, a noun or pronoun can be used between "say" and "to." "You can do this," I said to myself. "You've done it before and you can do it again." I could hear him saying things to himself as I came down the stairs.
2. To form or focus on some particular thought in one's mind. I keep saying to myself that I will start exercising more regularly, but I just keep letting the days slip by. He said to himself that he would never let himself get duped like that again.
See also: say
1. with no one else present; alone (of two or more people). Are you two going to stand here by yourselves all evening? Don't sit home by yourselves. Come to the party.
2. with the help of no one else. Can you three do this by yourselves? I expect you guys to get there by yourselves.
1. Convince another of one's merits, present oneself in a favorable light, as in A job interview is an ideal opportunity to sell oneself to a prospective employer. Originally this idiom, dating from the second half of the 1700s, alluded to selling one's services for money, but it was being used more loosely by the mid-1800s.
2. Compromise one's principles for monetary gain. An early version was sell oneself (or one's soul) to the devil, which alluded to enlisting the devil's help in exchange for one's soul after death. It is embodied in the legend of Faust, first recorded in the late 1500s.
See also: sell