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

López Obrador, like Trump, is ambivalent, suspicious even, of institutions, tends to oversimplify issues, and has an ego the size of Sonora. Kate Linthicum, The Seattle Times, "Mexico’s move toward populism comes from the left," 2 July 2018 The ego is what drives this president and all of his relationships. Monique Judge, The Root, "Trump’s On-Again, Off-Again Relationship With North Korea Is Back On. Again," 1 June 2018 Women often shrink themselves in order to please the male ego: something that famed writer Chimamanda Ngozie Adichie talks about as well. Faith Cummings, Teen Vogue, "Diane von Furstenberg Talks Womens Empowerment and Gender Inequality in Her New Masterclass," 19 Apr. 2018 For me the love is more important than having a big ego about my name and publications. Katie Worth, Scientific American, "When Scientists Are Mad about Each Other," 14 Feb. 2014 Scorpion masquerades as self-examination, which only heightens its overwrought sentimentality: Side A grapples with ego, legacy, and fame, while Side B shifts to downtempo. Jason Parham, WIRED, "With Scorpion, #DrakeSZN Is Back—as Overwrought as Ever," 2 July 2018 In a company full of sharp elbows and big egos, the animator distinguished himself as an introvert adept at bringing a level of emotional depth to his films. Rebecca Keegan, HWD, "Pete Docter and Jennifer Lee Are Taking Over for Disney’s Ousted John Lasseter," 19 June 2018 And yet, the portrait is not all writerly ego: Roth talks revealingly about one of his best novels, the slender, unforgettable The Ghost Writer and the television adaptation starring Bloom. Vogue, "A Domesticated Philip Roth? Vogue Profiles the Late Writer with Claire Bloom in 1983," 23 May 2018 And that tendency can be magnified for big-time athletics — from Lance Armstrong to Alex Rodriguez — with money, egos, and promotional contracts at stake. Dennis Wagner, azcentral, "Phoenix man's questionable marathon times draw him into debate on amateur cheating," 11 May 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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Phrases Related to ego

massage someone's ego

Statistics for ego

Last Updated

1 Sep 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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