Meaning of egoism in English:


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mass noun
  • 1

    another term for egotism

    ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Simple stubbornness and egoism can't explain everything - Ralph is too smart and too worldwise for that, even if his followers aren't.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The core issue is finding a system for fixing our escalating egoism, which is becoming more evident with each passing generation.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Of course, being well-off does not necessarily breed egoism.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘That is why, little children, be open to God's love and leave egoism and sin.’
    • ‘The brash egoism of 20 years ago has been replaced with a more gracious dignity.’
    • ‘His arrogance, egoism and desperate need for womanising, are as well known as his genius.’
    • ‘Deliberately to distance oneself from others behind miles of park wall is an act of supreme egoism.’
    • ‘For others, he symbolises all that is rotten within Sri Lankan cricket politics: a man driven by egoism and self-interest.’
    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.’
      • ‘Psychological egoism claims that each person has but one ultimate aim: her own welfare.’
      • ‘He thought in Darwinian terms of the struggle of nations for survival and preached ' national egoism '.’
      • ‘Reason, applied consistently, doesn't lead us down a straight path to egoism, much less to capitalism.’



/ˈɛɡəʊɪz(ə)m/ /ˈiːɡəʊɪz(ə)m/


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’


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