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

The show is an interesting exploration of the fragile male ego. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Fosse/Verdon Proves It's Time to Cancel the Fragile Male Ego," 10 Apr. 2019 Of particular note is Damon’s ongoing push to root out kitchen culture’s toxicities, which have typically been attributed to the hypermasculine ego. Vogue, "How Kia Damon Keeps It Cool in the Kitchen," 9 Apr. 2019 Both had their egos, sure, yet powered through differences to make something great. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'2001: A Space Odyssey': Book celebrates 50th anniversary of sci-fi movie masterpiece," 3 Apr. 2018 After one Twitter user decided to photoshop muscular arms onto Kim Kardashian's body, the reality TV star's buff alter-ego was born. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "22 Memes That Made 2018 Less Horrible," 17 Dec. 2018 Ask for two raises, one for you and one for your self-defeating alter-ego. WSJ, "101 Ways to Live, Work and Goof Off More Ambitiously," 26 Oct. 2018 As for the man himself, Trump was nowhere near either his inflatable alter-ego or the protests being held in his honour. Alex Ritman, The Hollywood Reporter, "Thousands Turn Out to Protest Donald Trump in London," 13 July 2018 As such, her new EP, Memories of an A.G., is a captivating exploration of her many expressive alter-egos. Sandra Song, Teen Vogue, "Ash B Is the Voguing Rapper Subverting Femininity With Her "Memories of an A.G."," 19 Apr. 2019 King Lear may be more than 400 years old, but Shakespeare’s tragedy—the story of a rash monarch blinded by ego and flattery, tangled in a destructive family drama, and brought down by his own bad judgment—seems to be more relevant than ever. Maureen Dowd, Town & Country, "Glenda Jackson as King Lear Is the Mad King For Our Age," 21 Mar. 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

26 May 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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