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

When Peter first receives EDITH, this name is played as a joke about Tony’s ego. Eliana Dockterman, Time, "Breaking Down the Spider-Man: Far From Home Post-Credits Scenes," 2 July 2019 Iguodala’s sky high basketball IQ, ego-free personality and leadership by example could make a difference. Gary Peterson, The Mercury News, "The book on Andre Iguodala: Here are two teams he could help," 1 July 2019 Much of today’s rocketry is fueled by an intense competition among a few superbillionaires whose ambitions (and egos) appear to be out of this world. National Geographic, "Countdown to a new era inSpace," 17 June 2019 Social media is about ego and vanity, and little else. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al.com, "How Bart Starr, the writer, affected so many," 10 June 2019 Some people complain that this is all about my ego—Stop. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "This Weatherman’s On-Camera Rant About Fans of The Bachelorette Deserves an Emmy," 29 May 2019 No animals were harmed in this financial experiment, but some human egos were bruised. Spencer Jakab, WSJ, "Making Monkeys Out of the Sohn Investing Gurus," 6 May 2019 There were tabloid tales about his outsize ego, his gambling, his flagrant infidelities. Angelica Baker, Vogue, "Going One-on-One with Greatness at Michael Jordan’s Summer Camp," 13 July 2018 Ahwaal’ include joy/fear, ecstasy, intoxication, intimacy, eventually ending the transcendence of ego-self. Howard Reich, chicagotribune.com, "Chicago stories will unfold at 13th Hyde Park Jazz Festival," 7 June 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

7 Jul 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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appealing forcibly to the mind or reason

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