nar·​cis·​sism | \ ˈnär-sə-ˌsi-zəm How to pronounce narcissism (audio) \

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 : narcissistic personality disorder One of the premier diagnoses of our times, narcissism is a reflection not only of an apparent trend in mental illness but also of the strains and distortions in the lives of essentially healthy people.— Robert Karen
3 : love of or sexual desire of one's own body

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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 And as the series goes on and Bojack devolves deeper into addiction and narcissism, the title sequence changes even more drastically. Andrew R. Chow, Time, "Inside the Creation of Bojack Horseman's Masterful Title Sequence," 13 Feb. 2020 Studies seem to show narcissism is on the rise in younger people. Sandee Lamotte, CNN, "Bet you think this story is about you, don't you? Narcissism and your health," 29 Oct. 2019 These studies always seem to unleash approving noises of self-congratulatory self-regard — ironically betraying a narcissism that seems to counter the argument all these studies are making. Washington Post, "Reading will supposedly make you a better person. That’s not the real reason to pick up a book.," 9 Jan. 2020 Note her narcissism, her vanity, the ridiculousness of her absurd newscasts. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "What Makes Apple TV+’s Servant So Callous," 28 Nov. 2019 Atwood’s dystopian trilogy of MaddAddam books, for example, imagines post-apocalyptic futurist scenarios where a toxic combination of narcissism and technology have led to our great undoing. Bernadette Mcbride, Quartzy, "Climate fiction is imagining a future beyond the climate crisis," 11 Oct. 2019 In 1969 the Beatles made their final recordings, the mayhem of the Altamont festival proved a horrific inversion of Woodstock and Charles Manson showed how easily the hippie dream could be corrupted by narcissism and violence. D.b., The Economist, "How James Taylor captured America’s post-sixties blues," 23 July 2019 Additional studies might also explore how personality traits—like neuroticism, narcissism, and extraversion—can affect gamers' ability to cope in high-stress competitive environments. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Esports gamers experience same stressors as pro athletes, study finds," 19 Nov. 2019 The earlier concern about empathy as a framework—that there is perhaps a narcissism to assuming that selves are interchangeable, or that one’s own perspective is universal—is forgotten. Katy Waldman, The New Yorker, "Leslie Jamison and the Anxiety of Authorship," 3 Oct. 2019

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 1a

History and Etymology for narcissism

German Narzissismus, from Narziss Narcissus, from Latin Narcissus

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Time Traveler for narcissism

Time Traveler

The first known use of narcissism was in 1822

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Statistics for narcissism

Last Updated

18 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Narcissism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for narcissism


nar·​cis·​sism | \ ˈnär-sə-ˌsiz-əm How to pronounce narcissism (audio) \

Medical Definition of narcissism

2 : love of or sexual desire for one's own body
3 : 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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