Definition of egoism in US English:



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    another term for egotism
    • ‘That is why, little children, be open to God's love and leave egoism and sin.’
    • ‘In the language of flowers, the narcissus stands for vanity and egoism.’
    • ‘Step by step, as I was awakened to examine my egoism and tried to come out of the selfish cave, so I could gradually appreciate the beauty of interdependence and interrelationship for the sake of proclaiming higher values.’
    • ‘His arrogance, egoism and desperate need for womanising, are as well known as his genius.’
    • ‘We have families where the parents behave like the kids, families where the kids behave like the parents, families where love rules and families where egoism is king.’
    • ‘Parents and teachers should also closely cooperate with each other to arm children with the " spirit of citizenship " so as to help them grow learning to help others and share rather than being encapsulated in strict egoism.’
    • ‘Of course, being well-off does not necessarily breed egoism.’
    • ‘And not only does suffering make Christians closer to God by breaking down the sufferer's stubborn egoism, it also serves to act as a kind of billboard advertising God's love for all.’
    • ‘The brash egoism of 20 years ago has been replaced with a more gracious dignity.’
    • ‘Simple stubbornness and egoism can't explain everything - Ralph is too smart and too worldwise for that, even if his followers aren't.’
    • ‘Hobbes accepted that human beings are capable of generosity, kindness, and co-operation but the pride and egoism which is inherent in human nature means that mankind also is prone to conflict, violence, and great evil.’
    • ‘The egoism of retired presidents to keep the parties that they founded or co-founded immortal will play a significant role.’
    • ‘It is also time to take stock of inner weaknesses such as egoism.’
    • ‘The core issue is finding a system for fixing our escalating egoism, which is becoming more evident with each passing generation.’
    • ‘The man shows a shocking amount of egoism - not that it's shocking that he's egotistical, it's just surprising that he lets it show so blatantly.’
    • ‘For others, he symbolises all that is rotten within Sri Lankan cricket politics: a man driven by egoism and self-interest.’
    • ‘Ben countered that in its teaching that the individual must overcome egoism and the yearnings of self, Kabbalah shows how to put a clamp on one's thoughts.’
    • ‘When people are made to hear of the social violence that exists in their own communities they can escape the gravitational pull of blinkered egoism and begin to work together.’
    • ‘The ability for a couple to marry is based on each one controlling innate egoism and narcissism.’
    • ‘Deliberately to distance oneself from others behind miles of park wall is an act of supreme egoism.’
    1. 1.1Philosophy An ethical theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of morality.
      • ‘Industrial society brought new problems: soulless individualism, economic egoism, utilitarianism, materialism and the cash nexus.’
      • ‘One issue concerns how much ethical egoism differs in content from standard moral theories.’
      • ‘He thought in Darwinian terms of the struggle of nations for survival and preached ' national egoism '.’
      • ‘Psychological egoism claims that each person has but one ultimate aim: her own welfare.’
      • ‘Reason, applied consistently, doesn't lead us down a straight path to egoism, much less to capitalism.’


The words egoism and egotism are frequently confused, as though interchangeable, but there are distinctions worth noting. Both words derive from Latin ego (‘I’), the first-person singular pronoun. Egotism, the more commonly used term, denotes an excessive sense of self-importance, too-frequent use of the word ‘I,’ and general arrogance and boastfulness. Egoism, a more subtle term, is perhaps best left to ethicists, for whom it denotes a view or theory of moral behavior in which self-interest is the root of moral conduct. An egoist, then, might devote considerable attention to introspection, but could be modest about it, whereas an egotist would have an exaggerated sense of the importance of his or her self-analysis, and would have to tell everyone


Late 18th century: from French égoïsme and modern Latin egoismus, from Latin ego ‘I’.