the seeking of one's own interest or selfish ends.


given to or characterized by self-seeking; selfish.

Origin of self-seeking

First recorded in 1580–90
Related formsself-seek·ing·ness, noun Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for self-seeking

Contemporary Examples of self-seeking

  • But his insistence that greed was good, that self-seeking was the American way, only fueled the national cynicism.

    The Daily Beast logo
    The Catch in “Catch-22”

    Morris Dickstein

    September 4, 2011

Historical Examples of self-seeking

  • She had learned to know that Althea was not only snobbish, but self-seeking as well.

  • Many men, Agostino, enter the Church out of motives of self-seeking.

    The Strolling Saint

    Raphael Sabatini

  • But now the voice broke in again, apologetic, solicitous, self-seeking.

    Hidden Water

    Dane Coolidge

  • There is an earnestness in high purpose no self-seeking could ever counterfeit.

  • It is in self-seeking and advancement that we narrow our faculties and imprison our natures.

    A Day's Ride

    Charles James Lever

British Dictionary definitions for self-seeking



the act or an instance of seeking one's own profit or interest, esp exclusively


having or showing an exclusive preoccupation with one's own profit or interesta self-seeking attitude
Derived Formsself-seeker, noun
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-seeking

"a seeking after one's own benefit (before those of others)," 1580s, from self + seeking, verbal noun from seek. As an adjective, from 1620s.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper