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[ee-goh, eg-oh] /ˈi goʊ, ˈɛg oʊ/
noun, plural egos.
the “I” or self of any person; a person as thinking, feeling, and willing, and distinguishing itself from the selves of others and from objects of its thought.
Psychoanalysis. the part of the psychic apparatus that experiences and reacts to the outside world and thus mediates between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social and physical environment.
egotism; conceit; self-importance:
Her ego becomes more unbearable each day.
self-esteem or self-image; feelings:
Your criticism wounded his ego.
(often initial capital letter) Philosophy.
  1. the enduring and conscious element that knows experience.
  2. Scholasticism. the complete person comprising both body and soul.
Ethnology. a person who serves as the central reference point in the study of organizational and kinship relationships.
1780-90; < Latin: I; psychoanalytic term is translation of German (das) Ich (the) I Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for egos
  • Also essential were the thrust of power, the lift of influence, the energy of competing egos.
  • He populated the model town with miniature alter egos of him and his friends.
  • He exudes a mystical demeanor that must serve him well while working with big architects and their notoriously big egos.
  • And crude camera tricks that boost the egos of vertically challenged stars will soon be replaced by a synthetic stretch.
  • Recently, on a discipline-specific listserv, tempers flared and egos were bruised.
  • Imagine what would happen to our egos if everyone followed that advice.
  • The egos of thousands of well-intentioned but fashion- and body-challenged professors are in your hands.
  • Emanuel personally recruited several of them, and it is now his job to manage their competing egos.
  • egos were huge, but held in check because no one had been warped yet by fame and money.
  • Being publicly traded companies has tamed some egos, too.
British Dictionary definitions for egos


/ˈiːɡəʊ; ˈɛɡəʊ/
noun (pl) egos
the self of an individual person; the conscious subject
(psychoanal) the conscious mind, based on perception of the environment from birth onwards: responsible for modifying the antisocial instincts of the id and itself modified by the conscience (superego)
one's image of oneself; morale: to boost one's ego
egotism; conceit
Word Origin
C19: from Latin: I
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 egos



1714, as a term in metaphysics, from Latin ego "I" (cognate with Old English ic, see I). Psychoanalytic sense is from 1894; sense of "conceit" is 1891. Ego trip first recorded 1969.

In the book of Egoism it is written, Possession without obligation to the object possessed approaches felicity. [George Meredith, "The Egoist," 1879]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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egos in Medicine

ego e·go (ē'gō, ěg'ō)
In psychoanalytic theory, the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and mediates between the person and external reality.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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egos in Culture
ego [(ee-goh)]

The “I” or self of any person (ego is Latin for “I”). In psychological terms, the ego is the part of the psyche that experiences the outside world and reacts to it, coming between the primitive drives of the id and the demands of the social environment, represented by the superego.

Note: The term ego is often used to mean personal pride and self-absorption: “Losing at chess doesn't do much for my ego.”
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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