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

There were no egos, no hidden agendas, nobody wanting to take all the credit. Ally Brooke, Glamour, "Ally Brooke: For the First Time in My Career, I Feel in Control," 8 Nov. 2018 This practice was exemplified by the streamlined bodies given to Grand Prix cars from Auto Union and Mercedes-Benz in the 1930s, an effort by German industry to boost the precious ego of its Nazi dictator. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "How a day driving high-downforce cars at VIR taught me I’m OK being slow," 11 Sep. 2018 There are a lot of kids that have very, very large egos. Christy Cabrera Chirinos, Sun-Sentinel.com, "UM's Lonnie Walker ready for the bright spotlight, high pressure of March basketball," 8 Mar. 2018 Perhaps a healthier Twitter is one with smaller follower counts—even if that comes as a blow to your ego. Louise Matsakis, WIRED, "Why Your Twitter Follower Count Might Go Down This Week," 11 July 2018 Parker was the most prideful man ever to set his ego aside, over and over and over again, and willingly play third fiddle. Mike Finger, San Antonio Express-News, "Parker’s pride drove Spurs until the end," 6 July 2018 All of these characters, the women, the publishers, the hangers-on, the simply interesting, provide the clamor that seems to sustain Hemingway, fonts of affirmation on demand available for his fragile writer’s ego. Dana Snitzky, Longreads, "Hemingway’s Last Girl," 12 July 2018 Bradley Beal Elite enters next month’s Peach Jam as a heavy favorite and Moody credits the team’s ability to leave egos on the bench and have each player stick to their role. Alex Schiffer, kansascity, "This Mizzou basketball recruit had a big spring playing on a loaded AAU team," 14 June 2018 There are thought leaders, but think there is a lot of hype and ego in the space now. Polina Marinova, Fortune, "Term Sheet -- Wednesday, June 4," 4 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

20 Jan 2019

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

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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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