Definition of narcissism in English:



  • 1Excessive or erotic interest in oneself and one's physical appearance.

    • ‘This tender yet unsettling vision of the future explores themes of identity, sexuality and narcissism.’
    • ‘Although he was not a sporting person he admits that he exercised to keep his appearance at its best and satisfy his narcissism.’
    • ‘Like most blogs, the content is erratic, syncopated by the intrusions of daily life, random interests, monomania, narcissism and booze.’
    • ‘I can't attribute my downfall to narcissism and only to narcissism.’
    • ‘It is apparent from any survey of the criticism of confessional poetry that the mode is habitually and negatively associated with an authorial self-absorption verging on narcissism.’
    • ‘It goes without saying that she makes great use of narcissism; no self-respecting artist of this period could live without that particular reflecting pool.’
    • ‘Mirror shots abound as the characters' narcissism is exposed and the brittleness of appearances scrutinised.’
    • ‘He finds himself with addictions to voyeurism and narcissism, as well as a nasty coke habit.’
    • ‘This was closer to sociopathy and narcissism than to an impulsive psychotic response to perceived injustices.’
    • ‘They also showed a high level of narcissism in the things that they said.’
    • ‘Elsewhere, religion's understanding of truth and selfless commitment to a wider community or cause appears preferable to today's culture of narcissism and navel-gazing.’
    • ‘Is indulging our individual truths a form of excessive narcissism?’
    • ‘His is a compelling and often tragic story, but there's a definite element of narcissism there too.’
    • ‘But narcissism isn't just a combination of monumental self-esteem and rudeness.’
    • ‘The analyst's narcissism may be such that it is better to rest easy in seductive certitude rather than tolerate ambiguities, uncertainties and the discomforting state of not-knowing!’
    • ‘But excessive self-love, or narcissism, could actually increase violence in schools.’
    • ‘This healthy narcissism may actually aid guilt-prone individuals in productive day-to-day interactions.’
    • ‘The second is a factor which has been called narcissism, or excessive love and pampering of one's self, including intense preoccupation with one's own state of being.’
    • ‘This gathering together of understanding is in itself an aspect of narcissism.’
    • ‘Filmed on a low budget in a 19-day shoot, the movie is a sincere but ultimately inadequate look at the film industry's narcissism and moral confusion.’
    conceit, conceitedness, self-conceit, self-love, self-admiration, self-regard, self-absorption, self-obsession, self-centredness, egotism, egoism, egocentrism, egomania
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Psychology Extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of one's own talents and a craving for admiration, as characterizing a personality type.
      • ‘He believes that such behavior results from personality traits such as narcissism as well as a memory bias.’
      • ‘Although about one in five were found to have personality defects such as extreme overconfidence, aloofness and narcissism, the same group also tended to score well on problem-solving.’
      • ‘She might even have admitted to extreme narcissism if it made a good line.’
      • ‘This factor supports the idea that an extreme narcissism is a specific psychogenic factor here.’
      • ‘Psychologists call this narcissism, the personality trait that was inspired by Narcissus, the Greek god who saw his reflection in a pool and fell in love with himself.’
      • ‘Would-be doctors had personality defects ranging from extreme over-confidence, narcissism and aloofness to being overly empathetic.’
    2. 1.2Psychiatry Self-centeredness arising from failure to distinguish the self from external objects, either in very young babies or as a feature of mental disorder.
      • ‘There is, of course, a long and controversial history of viewing homosexuality as a displaced desire for the self and thus a form of narcissism.’
      • ‘After all, normal narcissism makes most psychiatrists feel they are doing a good job, even when they may not be.’
      • ‘And narcissism is a seductive mental disorder.’
      • ‘This suggests that neuroticism / narcissism combined with an abusive and/or harassing work environment does not make one more prone to deleterious drinking behavior.’
      • ‘Freud postulated a narcissistic stage of emotional development, or primary narcissism, which precedes any investment of libido in objects other than the self.’
      • ‘‘One of the features of narcissism is enormous confidence and self-esteem,’ she observes.’


Early 19th century: via Latin from the Greek name Narkissos (see Narcissus) + -ism.