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[ee-guh-tiz-uh m, eg-uh-] /ˈi gəˌtɪz əm, ˈɛg ə-/
excessive and objectionable reference to oneself in conversation or writing; conceit; boastfulness.
selfishness; self-centeredness; egoism.
Origin of egotism
1705-15; < Latin ego ego + -ism; -t- perhaps after despotism, idiotism2
Related forms
antiegotism, noun
Can be confused
egoism, egotism (see synonym study at the current entry)
1. Egotism, egoism refer to preoccupation with one's ego or self. Egotism is the common word for obtrusive and excessive reference to and emphasis upon oneself and one's own importance: His egotism alienated all his friends. Egoism, a less common word, is used especially in philosophy, ethics, or metaphysics, where it emphasizes the importance of or preoccupation with self in relation to other things: sufficient egoism to understand one's central place in the universe. See also pride.
1. humility, modesty, altruism. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for egotism
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The tenderness, the devotedness of his mother had instilled into him an egotism that was ferocious.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • The egotism he displayed in the enjoyment of his good fortune, shielded him from any fault.

    Therese Raquin Emile Zola
  • The egotism of one of the parties may be too much for the other.

    Lysis Plato
  • Arlt inquired, with a frankness which yet bore no taint of egotism.

    The Dominant Strain Anna Chapin Ray
  • Perhaps it was my egotism, which made me over-bold, thinking that any woman could love me.

    Hidden Water Dane Coolidge
  • I am inclined to ascribe these feelings at bottom to egotism.

  • But enough of these tiresome memories, in which my egotism will always involve me.

    Roland Cashel Charles James Lever
  • And now that my egotism is so fully aroused, let me tell of myself.

    Sir Brook Fossbrooke, Volume I. Charles James Lever
  • egotism, in every one of its moods and tenses, must have a strong fascination.

    A Day's Ride Charles James Lever
British Dictionary definitions for egotism


/ˈiːɡəˌtɪzəm; ˈɛɡə-/
an inflated sense of self-importance or superiority; self-centredness
excessive reference to oneself
Word Origin
C18: from Latin ego I + -ism
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 egotism

1714, from ego + -ism (see egotist). Meaning "selfishness" is from 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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egotism in Culture
egotism [(ee-guh-tiz-uhm)]

An excessive regard for one's own talents or achievements; conceit, self-importance; acting with only one's own interests in mind.

The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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