Learner's definition of SELF
1 [count] : the person that someone normally or truly is — used to describe the way someone acts or feels
He's just not his usual/normal self today.
She was her old self again after some sleep. [=she returned to behaving/feeling as she normally did after some sleep]
He was a mere ghost/shadow of his former self after the illness. [=he was much weaker after his illness]
She showed her true/real self. [=she stopped pretending and showed what type of person she really was]
2 [count] : a particular part of your personality or character that is shown in a particular situation
She showed her better self at the party.
Her public self is very different from her private self.
He started taking yoga and meditation classes to get in touch with his inner self. [=the emotional and spiritual part of himself]
3 [noncount] : the personality or character that makes a person different from other people : the combination of emotions, thoughts, feelings, etc., that make a person different from others 4 [noncount], formal : your own personal interest or advantage 5 [count] — used to refer to a person
a photo of her younger self
He puts his whole self into each and every game. [=he tries very hard to play his best in each game]
(informal) “Go get me another beer.” “You can get it your (own) damn self!”
(informal) I could barely drag my sorry self out of bed.