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13 Essential Literary Terms

egoism

[ee-goh-iz-uh m, eg-oh-] /ˈi goʊˌɪz əm, ˈɛg oʊ-/
noun
1.
the habit of valuing everything only in reference to one's personal interest; selfishness (opposed to altruism).
2.
egotism or conceit.
3.
Ethics. the view that morality ultimately rests on self-interest.
Origin
1775-1785
1775-85; < French égoïsme. See ego, -ism
Related forms
antiegoism, noun
Can be confused
egoism, egotism (see synonym study at egotism)
Synonyms
1. See egotism.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for egoism
  • She could easily trump any contemporary celebrity with exoticism and egoism.
  • He sees her the way he sees everyone else: as a target for his charm, an audience to be seduced, a mirror for his egoism.
  • And with success came a vast increase in the national egoism.
  • Covenant morality is universal as opposed to egoism.
  • Despair, egoism and karma are revealed and there for everybody to see.
  • They protect their turf jealously, displaying what can be called sectoral egoism.
British Dictionary definitions for egoism

egoism

/ˈiːɡəʊˌɪzəm; ˈɛɡ-/
noun
1.
concern for one's own interests and welfare
2.
(ethics) the theory that the pursuit of one's own welfare is the highest good Compare altruism
3.
self-centredness; egotism
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 egoism
n.

1785, in metaphysics (see egoist), from French égoisme (1755), from Modern Latin egoismus, from Latin ego (see ego). Meaning "self-interest" is from 1800.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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