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
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>
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.
Origin and Etymology of ego
New Latin, from Latin, I — more at i
First Known Use: 1789
EGO Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of ego for English Language Learners
: the opinion that you have about yourself
psychology : a part of the mind that senses and adapts to the real world
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, superego
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