ego

noun
\ˈē-(ˌ)gō also ˈe- \
plural egos

Definition of ego 

1 : the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world

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

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Other Words from ego

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

Their egos perhaps challenged by their frontman, Journey's veteran players were eager to prove their chops, with mixed results. Piet Levy, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "Journey, Def Leppard blasts from the past at Summerfest Fourth of July show in Milwaukee," 4 July 2018 By his own admission, his alter-ego was timid Daniel Striped Tiger, a friendly tiger who wore a wristwatch, while his wife Joanne, interviewed extensively on camera in the documentary, was the inspiration for Queen Sara Saturday. Philip Potempa, Post-Tribune, "Mr. Rogers still a trusted name and neighbor to Northwest Indiana public TV," 27 June 2018 The egos were too big to handle and the priorities left me yearning for something more meaningful. New York Times, "True Tales of ‘Sex and the City’," 6 June 2018 One way to think about the ego is as a mental construct that performs certain functions on our behalf. Michael Pollan, WSJ, "The New Science of Psychedelics," 3 May 2018 Hogan and Austin were less than fond of each other, particularly in 2002, and ego would have been a major roadblock in constructing a match. Justin Barrasso, SI.com, "The ’Mania Supercolumn: 34 Notes, Quotes, and Anecdotes for WrestleMania 34," 6 Apr. 2018 Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and Neymar have all gone home; Sweden, liberated from Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s ego, has prospered. Jonathan Wilson, SI.com, "The Danger of Overreacting to Brazil's Disappointing World Cup Exit," 7 July 2018 Smith insists his longshot bid to win the state's highest office isn’t just another resume enhancer, the ultimate ego boost for a man who has already collected so many diverse experiences. Daniela Altimari, courant.com, "He Was In Sarajevo During The Siege And Kabul After 9/11. Now Guy Smith Wants to Be Governor.," 14 June 2018 Kansas City will be fine either way, but the ego boost means more here than in most other places. Sam Mellinger, kansascity, "The importance of Kansas City hearing 'yes' about the World Cup," 13 June 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ego.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of ego

1789, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for ego

New Latin, from Latin, I — more at i

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Statistics for ego

Last Updated

10 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for ego

The first known use of ego was in 1789

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More Definitions for ego

ego

noun

English Language Learners Definition of ego

: the opinion that you have about yourself

psychology : a part of the mind that senses and adapts to the real world

ego

noun
\ˈē-(ˌ)gō also ˈeg-(ˌ)ō\
plural egos

Medical Definition of ego 

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

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on ego

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for ego

Spanish Central: Translation of ego

Nglish: Translation of ego for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of ego for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about ego

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