[self-i-steem, self-]


a realistic respect for or favorable impression of oneself; self-respect.
an inordinately or exaggeratedly favorable impression of oneself.

Origin of self-esteem

First recorded in 1650–60

Synonyms for self-esteem

See pride.

Antonyms for self-esteem Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-esteem

Contemporary Examples of self-esteem

Historical Examples of self-esteem

  • The evenings with her did something to reinstate him in his own self-esteem.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • You have not succeeded in making a fool of me; my self-esteem is satisfied.

    A Hero of Our Time

    M. Y. Lermontov

  • "You want nothing for self-esteem," she informed him gravely.

    The Lion's Skin

    Rafael Sabatini

  • The wound to his self-esteem was in the very tenderest spot of his nature.

  • My resolve neither wounds a friend nor hurts my own self-esteem.

    One Of Them

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for self-esteem



respect for or a favourable opinion of oneself
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

Word Origin and History for self-esteem

1650s, from self- + esteem (n.). Popularized by phrenology, which assigned it a "bump" (Spurzheim, 1815).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper