Definition of self-seeking in English:



  • Having concern for one's own welfare and interests before those of others.

    ‘the self-seeking aggrandizement of Party bosses’
    • ‘This is indeed regrettable, because politicians who act only in their own partisan, self-seeking interest are doing nothing other than letting their country down.’
    • ‘All in all, this self-seeking sojourn has been gratifying.’
    • ‘The level of acrimony is so widespread and acute that it's impossible to dismiss those involved as disgruntled former employees, disillusioned leftists or self-seeking turncoats.’
    • ‘O'Grady's accounts of the Elizabethan wars find heroism only among the ordinary members of the warrior class as brave and honest pawns sacrificed to the intrigues of their self-seeking leaders.’
    • ‘Despite his predilection for this sort of self-seeking behaviour, there are many who don't want him to jump.’
    • ‘Rather, it creates an institutional framework in which, to get ahead in their economic engagements, even people who grow up entirely self-seeking and anti-social must attend to the general social good and the well-being of others.’
    • ‘You wonder what the point of promises are when they're only used to mask self-seeking behaviour.’
    • ‘Some have entered the field for largely self-seeking reasons, although such individuals seldom excel.’
    • ‘Zambians should be commended for ignoring the flopped demonstration organised by frustrated and self-seeking politicians who were hoping to gunner some political capital out of the ill-conceived exercise.’
    • ‘Atrocities are happening all over the world due to the self-righteous, self-seeking gratification of particular groups.’
    • ‘The union's betrayals have not merely been the product of the cowardice of a few self-seeking union leaders.’
    • ‘For the scientific democrats the most salient fact of American life during the Gilded Age was the spread of egoistic and self-seeking behavior.’
    • ‘There is in fact no great demand for Britain's self-seeking managers in the rest of Europe, for example (where in any case salary levels tend to be lower).’
    • ‘Government is required because acting man cannot negotiate agreements effectively with other self-seeking acting men.’
    • ‘It is the mask that the politically covetous wear to hide their self-seeking agenda.’
    • ‘Cooperation and love, they are taught, are beautiful ideals best left to the church, synagogue, or mosque, but in the real world we will encounter people driven by self-seeking needs and we had better do the same.’
    • ‘I had never seen so many insidious, self-seeking agendas.’
    • ‘To make room for them, items such as debates about the self-seeking behavior of the Church could be made into footnotes or appendices.’
    • ‘This excellent pair of companion volumes presents the story of how the events of the Civil War forged a community where there had previously been a disparate and self-seeking collection of individuals.’
    • ‘The depredations of philistine governments and ignorant, self-seeking bureaucrats are not the sole cause of the changes I have witnessed in academic literary studies.’
    self-interested, self-serving, self-obsessed, self-absorbed, self-regarding, wrapped up in oneself, egocentric, egotistic, egotistical, egomaniacal, inward-looking, introverted, selfish
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mass noun
  • Concern for oneself before others.

    ‘everywhere he encounters self-seeking, hypocrisy, and dishonesty’
    • ‘It is an old truth that lack of understanding and sheer stupidity are causing more harm and suffering in the world than wickedness and self-seeking.’
    • ‘My point is that even such self-seeking requires a considerable amount of common culture.’
    • ‘Let us turn from selfishness and deceit, from self-pity and self-seeking to discover the spirit of God which is the true spirit of thanksgiving, dedication and commitment.’
    egocentrism, egotism, egomania, introversion, self-seeking, self-serving, self-obsession, self-absorption, self-regard, self-interest, self-love
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