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egoism Line breaks: ego¦ism
Pronunciation: /ˈɛɡəʊɪz(ə)m/

Definition of egoism in English:


[mass noun]
1 another term for egotism.
Example sentences
  • In the language of flowers, the narcissus stands for vanity and egoism.
  • 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.
  • The ability for a couple to marry is based on each one controlling innate egoism and narcissism.
2 Philosophy An ethical theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of morality.
Example sentences
  • 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.
  • Psychological egoism claims that each person has but one ultimate aim: her own welfare.


The words egoism and egotism are frequently treated as interchangeable, but there are distinctions which are worth noting. Egotism, the more commonly used term, means ‘the fact of being excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself’. Strictly speaking, egoism is a term used in Ethics to mean ‘a theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of moral behaviour’, although this sense is not dominant today; around 90 per cent of the citations for egoism in the Oxford English Corpus are for the meaning ‘excessive conceit’.


Pronunciation: /ˈɛɡəʊɪst/
Example sentences
  • ‘They're all egoists, they only care about themselves,’ said Guy, a security guard who wouldn't give his surname.
  • I gave up last year when I realised that they were a bunch of dull egoists.
  • We do not need to assume anything as strong as the claim that we are all dedicated, grasping, egoists to see this.
Pronunciation: /ɛɡəʊˈɪstɪk/
Example sentences
  • Fear is produced by the egoistic notion of self-importance.
  • Everything we experience is normally experienced from an egoistic or narcissistic point of view.
  • They're nice sometimes, but most of the time they just act like egoistic, arrogant rich kids.
Pronunciation: /ɛɡəʊˈɪstɪk(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • We become obsessed with ‘self’ in the egoistical sense.
  • The perplexed liberal democracies in Central and Western Europe are increasingly egoistical, and are now teetering along an uncertain course.
  • Did not George Orwell once describe authors as the most egoistical of human beings?
Pronunciation: /ɛɡəʊˈɪstɪk(ə)li/ /iːɡəʊˈɪstɪk(ə)li/
Example sentences
  • This explanation involves subscribing to a view that the perpetrators act egoistically.
  • All these competencies can of course be used individually or egoistically.
  • As I was saying, the film's very existence tantalizes, yet its text leaves me analytically fumbling, resorting to undirected, flailing jargon - but I still feel compelled to write, to remain egoistically active.


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

Words that rhyme with egoism

truism • Babism • cubism
Definition of egoism in:
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