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 There are a total of 12 bedrooms and 24 bathrooms across the property, including a sprawling primary suite that should have been more than spacious enough to accommodate the egos of two of Hollywood’s biggest stars. Mark David, Robb Report, 11 July 2024 Now that the far right have stormed to legislative power – and have their sights set on the Elysee Palace in 2027 – the threat posed by the National Rally’s victories is not limited to Macron’s ego. Joseph Ataman, CNN, 9 July 2024 What came back is a picture of a fiercely competitive technocrat who’s not afraid to bruise egos and drill down to the smallest details to get things done. Alicia Adamczyk, Fortune, 9 July 2024 Now, somebody asked me a question about ego and this idea of having an ego. Alexandra Del Rosario, Los Angeles Times, 1 July 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 23 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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