[ self-i-steem, self- ]
See synonyms for: self-esteemself-esteems on

  1. a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect.

  2. an inordinately or exaggeratedly favorable impression of oneself: Her self-esteem can sometimes be very annoying.

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Origin of self-esteem

First recorded in 1650–60

synonym study For self-esteem

2. See pride.

Opposites for self-esteem

Words Nearby self-esteem Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use self-esteem in a sentence

  • To suddenly discover oneself proficient where failure had been feared increases self esteem and adds to the sum of happiness.

  • He was angry with himself, wounded in self-esteem, for having allowed any one to render him this service.

  • That was to be her punishment for having cut too deep into his self-esteem.

    The Highgrader | William MacLeod Raine
  • But I thought I would leave the word to him, without further attempt to reinstate him in his self-esteem.

    A Traveler from Altruria: Romance | William Dean Howells
  • The very worst way to induce a man to learn is to begin by telling him he is ignorant, and thereby insulting his self-esteem.

    The Hills and the Vale | Richard Jefferies

British Dictionary definitions for self-esteem


  1. respect for or a favourable opinion of oneself

  2. an unduly high opinion of oneself; vanity

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