[ee-goh-iz-uh m, eg-oh-]


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 formsan·ti·e·go·ism, noun
Can be confusedegoism egotism (see synonym study at egotism)

Synonyms for egoism

1. See egotism. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for egoism

Historical Examples of egoism

  • In the seventeenth century men still had the courage of their egoism.

  • 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.


    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

British Dictionary definitions for egoism



concern for one's own interests and welfare
ethics the theory that the pursuit of one's own welfare is the highest goodCompare 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

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