- devoted to or caring only for oneself; concerned primarily with one's own interests, benefits, welfare, etc., regardless of others.
- characterized by or manifesting concern or care only for oneself: selfish motives.
Origin of selfish
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for selfishness
The pontiff blasts the selfishness, arrogance and detachment of the cardinals in Rome.Pope Francis Denounces the Vatican Elite’s 'Spiritual Alzheimer’s'
Barbie Latza Nadeau
December 23, 2014
Fatigue, sadness, or psychosis is not about choice or laziness or selfishness.Postpartum Stigma: Why My Patient Committed Suicide
August 5, 2014
In the abstract, these harsh truths steer the soul perilously close to selfishness or, worse, Objectivism.Big Business Bullies Americans into the Machinery of Common Core
March 20, 2014
Phil goes through so much to lose his selfishness, to put self aside, that his redemption feels earned.Harold Ramis’s ‘Groundhog Day’ Is About as Perfect as a Movie Gets
February 25, 2014
The pursuit of happiness is a double-edged sword; self-reliance often bleeds into selfishness.'Breaking Bad's' Series Finale Cements Its Status As One of the All-Time Greats
September 30, 2013
But do try to believe, at the same time, that my own selfishness has been a kindness to you.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
"He is cruel, and the very incarnation of selfishness," he said.
In the selfishness of his misery he looked upon this as lack of sympathy with himself.
God had made Amy so that she had less trouble from selfishness than all but a few people.
Ambition, selfishness, and the love of success, were alike his inspiration and his ruin.The Boy Life of Napoleon
- chiefly concerned with one's own interest, advantage, etc, esp to the total exclusion of the interests of others
- relating to or characterized by self-interest
Word Origin and History for selfishness
Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs. [Richard Dawkins, "The Selfish Gene," 1976]
Related: Selfishly; selfishness. Cf. similar formations in German selbstisch, Swedish sjelfvisk, Danish selvisk.