[self-in-ter-ist, -trist, self-]
- regard for one's own interest or advantage, especially with disregard for others.
- personal interest or advantage.
Origin of self-interest
First recorded in 1640–50
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for self-interest
Marrying yourself merely underscores selfishness and self-interest, rather than enabling you to live singly in the best way.Why Singles Should Say ‘I Don’t’ to The Self-Marriage Movement
December 30, 2014
You have to be very angry to be at the point where you no longer have any self-interest.The Very Rich Should Divorce Very Quietly
November 6, 2014
“Better” means more courageous and more independent, less partisan and less motivated by self-interest.Obama and Latinos Are at the Breaking Point
Ruben Navarrette Jr.
July 21, 2014
Is that the ultimate message of House of Cards—that politics is all about self-interest?Beau Willimon on Most Shocking Twists in ‘House of Cards’ Season 2
February 15, 2014
Of course, Ford was motivated more by self-interest than by altruism.Henry Ford Understood That Raising Wages Would Bring Him More Profit
January 6, 2014
Yes, for I know you have never been actuated by self-interest.The Field of Ice
If the College is not what it should be, the more his self-interest should prompt him to bestow upon it his aid.
To Plato the whole world appears to be sunk in error, based on self-interest.Gorgias
He put their self-interest and the interests of their country side by side in front of them.Herbert Hoover
It needed but one mind, keener in self-interest than the rest, and that mind was to hand.The Golden Woman
- one's personal interest or advantage
- the act or an instance of pursuing one's own interest
Word Origin and History for self-interest
[Self-interest] is a doctrine not very lofty, but clear and sure. It does not seek to attain great objects; but it attains those it aims for without too much effort. ... [It] does not produce great devotion; but it suggests little sacrifices each day; by itself it cannot make a man virtuous; but it forms a multitude of citizens who are regulated, temperate, moderate, farsighted, masters of themselves; and if it does not lead directly to virtue through the will, it brings them near to it insensibly through habits. [Alexis de Tocqueville, "Democracy in America"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper