- (reflexive) To serve oneself, especially to take food or other supplies, rather than wait to be served by another; used to indicate friendly permission or invitation.
- If you want to take a shower, help yourself to towels; they're in the linen closet.
- Is it all right if I get some water? —Oh, of course, help yourself!
- (reflexive) To take something freely; to serve oneself without restraint.
- He said I could help myself to the chocolates.
- He didn't even ask; he just helped himself to the special tea I was saving.
- 1920, Herman Cyril McNeile, chapter 1, in Bulldog Drummond:
- Hugh helped himself to bacon. "My dear fellow, she can think what she likes so long as she continues to grill bacon like this. Your wife is a treasure, James—a pearl amongst women; and you can tell her so with my love."
- (chiefly in the negative) To exhibit self-control.
- Sorry for eating all the chocolates - I couldn't help myself.
- Used other than figuratively or idiomatically: see help.
- God helps those who help themselves.
take something freely
to help oneself — see make use