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[ee-goh-iz-uh m, eg-oh-] /ˈi goʊˌɪz əm, ˈɛg oʊ-/
the habit of valuing everything only in reference to one's personal interest; selfishness (opposed to altruism).
egotism or conceit.
Ethics. the view that morality ultimately rests on self-interest.
Origin of egoism
1775-85; < French égoïsme. See ego, -ism
Related forms
antiegoism, noun
Can be confused
egoism, egotism (see synonym study at egotism)
1. See egotism. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for egoism
Historical Examples
  • Yet, for all his humility, he was possessed by a spirit of egoism that repelled me.

    Zuleika Dobson Max Beerbohm
  • Ennui, having its roots in an egoism she did not possess, was unknown to her.

    Virginia Ellen Glasgow
  • He had no foregone conclusions, no arbitrary predeterminations, no obstinacy, and no egoism.

    The God-Idea of the Ancients Eliza Burt Gamble
  • In the seventeenth century men still had the courage of their egoism.

    Rosinante to the Road Again John Dos Passos
  • But I had whined from the moment I met you, because I was sickly with egoism and loneliness and self-pity.

    The Gentleman From Indiana Booth Tarkington
  • egoism is the arch-enemy of love, selfishness is the manifestation of egoism.

  • What conceivable cunning could do such execution as her stupendous appeal to masculine vanity, sentimentality, egoism?

    Damn! Henry Louis Mencken
  • Michael smiled at this egoism that could not help being charming.

    Michael E. F. Benson
  • I would not commit an egoism,' she said; but if the sense of admiration do you good, I wish it had a worthier cause.'

    The Young Step-Mother Charlotte M. Yonge
  • With the failure of his pilgrimage he had lost all hope, all 'egoism.'

    Tatterdemalion John Galsworthy
British Dictionary definitions for egoism


/ˈiːɡəʊˌɪzəm; ˈɛɡ-/
concern for one's own interests and welfare
(ethics) the theory that the pursuit of one's own welfare is the highest good Compare altruism
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

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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