Can "for oneself" mean "by oneself", "without others's help" ?

And also, Webster says "for oneself" : rather than have someone else (do or share something) i.e)She did not like just hearing of other's travels. She wanted to see Europe for herself.

What does "have someone else" mean here?

  • I believe you may have been confused by the kind-of-uncommon use of parentheses in the dictionary's definition. In your quote, "have someone else" is just part of the longer phrase "have someone else do or share something" but the object complement "do or share something" is enclosed in parentheses. Jun 17, 2023 at 19:29
  • This is to show that either of two distinct elements of the compound complement (i.e. either "do" or "share") could be substituted into the phrase, to give two distinct meanings. So, "for oneself" could either mean "Without having someone else do something for you" OR "Without having someone else share something with you." Jun 17, 2023 at 19:32
  • As James K has noted in his answer, the first of those two possibilities "Without having someone else do something for you" is the correct option for your 'traveling to Europe' example. Jun 17, 2023 at 19:36

1 Answer 1


It means she wanted to travel to Europe and see it with her own eyes, rather than someone else travel to Europe and read or hear about what they saw.

So the meaning is not getting something second hand.

It doesn't mean that the wanted to travel to Europe alone or without help. She could see Europe for herself while touring with a friend, for example.

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