nar·​cis·​sism | \ˈnär-sə-ˌsi-zəm \

Definition of narcissism 

1 : egoism, egocentrism … up until my late 30's I lived in a state of utterly monstrous narcissism and self-absorption …— Frank Conroy

2 : love of or sexual desire for one's own body His wife complained that she couldn't compete with her husband's narcissism.

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Other Words from narcissism

narcissist \ ˈnär-​sə-​sist \ noun or adjective
narcissistic \ ˌnär-​sə-​ˈsi-​stik \ adjective

Examples of narcissism in a Sentence

in his narcissism, he just assumed that everyone else wanted to hear the tiny details of his day

Recent Examples on the Web

Their narcissism is repellent yet riveting, and Mr. Côté comes at his subjects with an artful, exploratory obliqueness that’s endearingly curious, as if discovering a whole new species. Denis Côté, New York Times, "Review: Six Strongmen Cultivate ‘A Skin So Soft’," 5 July 2018 The narcissism has gotten a little bit out of hand. Emma Dibdin, Harper's BAZAAR, "'Suits' Star Gabriel Macht On The Show's Move From Glossy To Grounded," 6 Mar. 2017 In contrast, believing that the conflicts of one’s soul produce truth is narcissism. Josephine Livingstone, The New Republic, "The Empty Space of Rachel Cusk," 15 June 2018 From stage to screen to stream, the vanity, narcissism, and general egotism of actors have always been a reliable source of amusement, especially in the hands of the right satirists. Don Aucoin,, "In this family, the upstaging never stops," 27 June 2018 Yet, interestingly enough, narcissism is much more strongly linked to selfie-taking among men than women. NBC News, "Do you have 'selfitis?' This scale will tell you," 6 Apr. 2018 Her concern is a form of narcissism, but her sister, Jasmine (Roslyn Ruff, who gives a towering comedic performance), may have her beat in the self-regard department. Hilton Als, The New Yorker, "With “Fairview,” Jackie Sibblies Drury Breaks the Fourth Wall," 24 June 2018 This was greeted by his fellow artists as an act of heroism, but Deluc doesn’t soft-pedal the raging narcissism at its core. Peter Rainer, The Christian Science Monitor, "'Gauguin: Voyage to Tahiti' chronicles Gauguin’s desire to see a new way," 13 July 2018 The hardest thing in the world after a decade of writing is trying to avoid narcissism when possible, and being an artist is incredibly narcissistic. Melinda Newman, Billboard, "Ryan Tedder on OneRepublic's 'Connection' With Jeep, Playing Corporate Gigs & Why He Related to Anthony Bourdain," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'narcissism.' 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 narcissism

1822, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for narcissism

German Narzissismus, from Narziss Narcissus, from Latin Narcissus

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Last Updated

30 Sep 2018

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Time Traveler for narcissism

The first known use of narcissism was in 1822

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More Definitions for narcissism


nar·​cis·​sism | \ˈnär-sə-ˌsiz-əm \

Medical Definition of narcissism 

1 : love of or sexual desire for one's own body

2 : the state or stage of development in psychoanalytic theory in which there is considerable erotic interest in one's own body and ego and which in abnormal forms persists through fixation or reappears through regression

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