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ego

[ee-goh, eg-oh]
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noun, plural e·gos.
  1. the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.
  2. Psychoanalysis. the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.
  3. egotism; conceit; self-importance: Her ego becomes more unbearable each day.
  4. self-esteem or self-image; feelings: Your criticism wounded his ego.
  5. (often initial capital letter) Philosophy.
    1. the enduring and conscious element that knows experience.
    2. Scholasticism.the complete person comprising both body and soul.
  6. Ethnology. a person who serves as the central reference point in the study of organizational and kinship relationships.
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Origin of ego

1780–90; < Latin: I; psychoanalytic term is translation of German (das) Ich (the) I
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for ego

ego

noun plural egos
  1. the self of an individual person; the conscious subject
  2. psychoanal the conscious mind, based on perception of the environment from birth onwards: responsible for modifying the antisocial instincts of the id and itself modified by the conscience (superego)
  3. one's image of oneself; moraleto boost one's ego
  4. egotism; conceit
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Word Origin

C19: from Latin: I
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for ego

n.

1714, as a term in metaphysics, from Latin ego "I" (cognate with Old English ic, see I). Psychoanalytic sense is from 1894; sense of "conceit" is 1891. Ego trip first recorded 1969.

In the book of Egoism it is written, Possession without obligation to the object possessed approaches felicity. [George Meredith, "The Egoist," 1879]
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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

ego in Medicine

ego

gō, ĕgō)
n.
  1. In psychoanalytic theory, the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and mediates between the person and external reality.
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The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.

ego in Culture

ego

[(ee-goh)]

The “I” or self of any person (ego is Latin for “I”). In psychological terms, the ego is the part of the psyche that experiences the outside world and reacts to it, coming between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social environment, represented by the superego.

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Note

The term ego is often used to mean personal pride and self-absorption: “Losing at chess doesn't do much for my ego.”
The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.