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Word of the Day
Saturday, July 14, 2018

Definitions for amour-propre

  1. French. self-esteem; self-respect.

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Citations for amour-propre
From the faces round him there fell that glamour by which the amour propre is held captive in large assemblies, where the amour propre is flattered. Edward Bulwar-Lytton, What Will He Do with It?, 1858
Whatever might be the urgings of his amour propre, in his opinion he had a professional duty to tell the client his findings. Louis Begley, Matters of Honor, 2007
Origin of amour-propre
The French compound noun amour-propre, literally “self-love, self-regard,” is associated especially with the philosophy of Jean-Jacques Rousseau (1712-78), but the phrase is found earlier in the works of Blaise Pascal (1623-62) and François de La Rochefoucauld (1613-80). For Rousseau amour-propre is self-love or self-esteem dependent upon the good opinion of others, as opposed to amour de soi, which also means “self-love” but is directed solely toward one’s own well-being and is not dependent upon the good opinion of others. The English lexicographer Henry W. Fowler (1858-1933), in his A Dictionary of Modern English Usage (1926), acidly comments about amour-propre, “Vanity usually gives the meaning as well, &, if as well, then better.” Amour-propre entered English in the 18th century.