ego

noun

ˈē-(ˌ)gō How to pronounce ego (audio)
 also  ˈe-
plural egos
1
: the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world
2
3
: the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality especially by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality compare id, superego
egoless adjective

Did you know?

Ego is the Latin word for "I." So if a person seems to begin every sentence with "I", it's sometimes a sign of a big ego. It was the psychologist Sigmund Freud (well, actually his original translator) who put ego into the popular vocabulary, but what he meant by the word is complex, so only other psychologists really use it in the Freudian sense. The rest of us generally use ego simply to mean one's sense of self-worth, whether exaggerated or not. When used in the "exaggerated" sense, ego is almost the same thing as conceit. Meeting a superstar athlete without a trace of this kind of ego would be a most refreshing experience. But having a reasonable sense of your own worth is no sin. Life's little everyday victories are good—in fact, necessary—for a healthy ego.

Examples of ego in a Sentence

I have enough ego not to want to give up easily in any contest or competition. a star athlete with a refreshing lack of ego
Recent Examples on the Web Razor-sharp without ever taking itself too seriously, 30 Rock is a joyous send-up of New York, the changing TV business, and the combustible egos that fill both. John Ortved, Vogue, 29 June 2024 Both men should be ashamed their egos stopped them from bowing out on their own. Hannah Pinski, The Courier-Journal, 28 June 2024 The company’s stock price, and the supes’ fragile egos, depends on the adoration of the crowd—but, as any show-biz tragedy can tell you, fame is a poor substitute for love. Inkoo Kang, The New Yorker, 26 June 2024 Men bring calamity onto themselves with their fragile egos. Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 26 June 2024 See all Example Sentences for ego 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ego.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

Etymology

New Latin, from Latin, I — more at i

First Known Use

1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of ego was in 1789

Dictionary Entries Near ego

Cite this Entry

“Ego.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ego. Accessed 15 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition

ego

noun
plural egos
1
: self entry 2 sense 1
especially : the conscious self
2
a
: conceit sense 1
has a big ego

Medical Definition

ego

noun
ˈē-(ˌ)gō also ˈeg-(ˌ)ō
plural egos
1
: the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world
2
: the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality especially by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality compare id entry 1, superego

More from Merriam-Webster on ego

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