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[ee-goh-iz-uh m, eg-oh-] /ˈi goʊˌɪz əm, ˈɛg oʊ-/
the habit of valuing everything only in reference to one's personal interest; selfishness (opposed to altruism).
egotism or conceit.
Ethics. the view that morality ultimately rests on self-interest.
Origin of egoism
From the French word égoïsme, dating back to 1775-85. See ego, -ism
Related forms
antiegoism, noun
Can be confused
egoism, egotism (see synonym study at egotism) Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for egoism
Historical Examples
  • In the seventeenth century men still had the courage of their egoism.

    Rosinante to the Road Again

    John Dos Passos
  • Lionel must not be sacrificed to his egoism for a deed that in Lionel he could not account other than justified.

    The Sea-Hawk Raphael Sabatini
  • A residue of egoism remains in every affection—even paternal.

    Chance Joseph Conrad
  • egoism is the arch-enemy of love, selfishness is the manifestation of egoism.

  • His personality was many-sided enough to make his egoism representative.

    Views and Reviews William Ernest Henley
  • Michael smiled at this egoism that could not help being charming.

    Michael E. F. Benson
  • He has emancipated himself from the egoism of the romantic tendency.

  • The first step toward the cure of egoism is to lock away one's Journal.

    Robert Orange John Oliver Hobbes
  • For in the world I have destroyed, egoism died in the embrace of love.

    Fantazius Mallare Ben Hecht
  • There is in egoism, however, a depth to which all but myself are blind.

    Fantazius Mallare Ben Hecht
British Dictionary definitions for egoism


/ˈiːɡəʊˌɪzəm; ˈɛɡ-/
concern for one's own interests and welfare
(ethics) the theory that the pursuit of one's own welfare is the highest good Compare altruism
self-centredness; egotism
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
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Word Origin and History for egoism

1785, in metaphysics (see egoist), from French égoisme (1755), from Modern Latin egoismus, from Latin ego (see ego). Meaning "self-interest" is from 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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