ego

noun
\ ˈē-(ˌ)gō also ˈe- How to pronounce ego (audio) \
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 With sizable egos involved on both sides, especially in the early days of A&M divorcing the Big 12, the state has been devoid of its biggest college rivalry game for most of this decade. Brent Zwerneman, ExpressNews.com, "Alluring as it is, A&M-UT matchup in Texas Bowl seems unlikely," 3 Dec. 2019 His subject, Nandy told me, exhibited all the traits of an authoritarian personality: puritanical rigidity, a constricted emotional life, fear of his own passions, and an enormous ego that protected a gnawing insecurity. Dexter Filkins, The New Yorker, "Blood and Soil in Narendra Modi’s India," 2 Dec. 2019 And for a team like Michigan, there’s no game of more importance to its annual ego check than playing Ohio State. Dan Wolken, USA TODAY, "Misery Index: When is Jim Harbaugh going to get it? Michigan's issues cut deeper than losses to Ohio State," 1 Dec. 2019 Trump and Weicker have a colorful history dating to the 1990s with major clashes between the two titans with large egos. Christopher Keating, courant.com, "Lowell Weicker built his reputation challenging Richard Nixon during Watergate; he says Republicans in Congress are afraid to do the same with Trump," 1 Dec. 2019 Tensions mount The unchecked egos of band members can often be difficult to rein in, and often lead to acrimony – to the point where the band breakup has almost become a cliche. Mark E. Perry, The Conversation, "‘The Wall’ cemented Pink Floyd’s fame – but destroyed the band," 27 Nov. 2019 The intern had used and displayed my body of work, body of words, body in imagery and literature, for his own pleasure, ego and gain. Sari Botton, Longreads, "Woman Writes Story Challenging Gender Dynamics; Is Thwarted by…Long-Standing Gender Dynamics," 23 Nov. 2019 The variety and richness of the images are astonishing, and attest to both the king’s piety and ego. Joshua Hammer, Smithsonian, "The Hidden City of Myanmar," 21 Nov. 2019 Even just standing on its own, the scene remains a rousing moment of triumph for Rey and a satisfying ego-smash for Kylo Ren. James Hibberd, EW.com, "The Force Awakens writer explains why Rey could Force-grab Luke's lightsaber," 20 Nov. 2019

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

8 Dec 2019

Cite this Entry

“Ego.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ego. Accessed 10 December 2019.

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More Definitions for ego

ego

noun
How to pronounce ego (audio)

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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