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[nahr-suh-siz-em] /ˈnɑr səˌsɪz ɛm/
inordinate fascination with oneself; excessive self-love; vanity.
Psychoanalysis. erotic gratification derived from admiration of one's own physical or mental attributes, being a normal condition at the infantile level of personality development.
Also, narcism
[nahr-siz-uh m] /ˈnɑr sɪz əm/ (Show IPA)
1815-25; < German Narzissismus. See narcissus, -ism
Related forms
narcissist, narcist, noun
narcissistic, narcistic, adjective
nonnarcism, noun
nonnarcissism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for narcissism
  • He is vain almost to the point of narcissism, unable to resist peeking at himself in every mirror he passes.
  • Many agree that narcissism is at the current frontier of psychiatry.
  • The new study challenges a much-discussed 2007 paper that warned of a tide of crippling student narcissism.
  • His narcissism shows how we shouldn't behave but often do.
  • Their self-absorption borders on narcissism.
  • But to insist that it is a patriotic act is the height of narcissism.
  • Jones seems to radiate the acceptable narcissism that is so prevalent in academia.
  • Your arrogant pride & brazen narcissism will be your downfall.
  • The contrast with the narcissism of most contemporary fiction is striking.
  • His energy, enthusiasm and narcissism are not gone.
British Dictionary definitions for narcissism


an exceptional interest in or admiration for oneself, esp one's physical appearance
sexual satisfaction derived from contemplation of one's own physical or mental endowments
Derived Forms
narcissist, noun
narcissistic, adjective
Word Origin
C19: from Narcissus
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
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Word Origin and History for narcissism

1905, from German Narzissismus, coined 1899 (in "Die sexuellen Perversitäten"), by German psychiatrist Paul Näcke (1851-1913), on a comparison suggested 1898 by Havelock Ellis, from Greek Narkissos, name of a beautiful youth in mythology (Ovid, "Metamorphoses," iii.370) who fell in love with his own reflection in a spring and was turned to the flower narcissus (q.v.). Coleridge used the word in a letter from 1822.

But already Krishna, enamoured of himself, had resolved to experience lust for his own self; he manifested his own Nature in the cow-herd girls and enjoyed them." [Karapatri, "Lingopasana-rahasya," Siddhanta, II, 1941-2]
Sometimes erroneously as narcism.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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narcissism in Medicine

narcissism nar·cis·sism (när'sĭ-sĭz'əm) or nar·cism (när'sĭz'əm)

  1. Excessive love or admiration of oneself.

  2. Erotic pleasure derived from contemplation or admiration of one's own body or self, especially as a fixation on or a regression to an infantile stage of development.

nar'cis·sist n.
nar'cis·sis'tic adj.
nar'cis·sis'ti·cal·ly adv.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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narcissism in Culture
narcissism [(nahr-suh-siz-uhm)]

A consuming self-absorption or self-love; a type of egotism. Narcissists constantly assess their appearance, desires, feelings, and abilities.

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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