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self-interest

[self-in-ter-ist, -trist, self-] /ˌsɛlfˈɪn tər ɪst, -trɪst, ˈsɛlf-/
noun
1.
regard for one's own interest or advantage, especially with disregard for others.
2.
personal interest or advantage.
Origin
1640-1650
1640-50
Related forms
self-interested, adjective
self-interestedness, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for selfinterest

self-interest

noun
1.
one's personal interest or advantage
2.
the act or an instance of pursuing one's own interest
Derived Forms
self-interested, adjective
self-interestedness, noun
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 selfinterest

self-interest

n.

also self interest, 1640s, from self- + interest (n.). Related: Self-interested.

[Self-interest] is a doctrine not very lofty, but clear and sure. It does not seek to attain great objects; but it attains those it aims for without too much effort. ... [It] does not produce great devotion; but it suggests little sacrifices each day; by itself it cannot make a man virtuous; but it forms a multitude of citizens who are regulated, temperate, moderate, farsighted, masters of themselves; and if it does not lead directly to virtue through the will, it brings them near to it insensibly through habits. [Alexis de Tocqueville, "Democracy in America"]

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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