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 The movie has its entertaining moments, though its rise-and-fall tale starring greed and narcissism isn't novel or essential. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "What to stream this Easter weekend: HBO Max's 'Godzilla vs. Kong,' Netflix's 'Concrete Cowboy'," 1 Apr. 2021 And Magnussen, who has played smarmy types before, including on Somerville’s Maniac (another modern cautionary tale but about pharmaceuticals), once again proves his gift for smiling winningly through acts of wild narcissism. Jen Chaney, Vulture, "Made for Love’s Tech Looks Familiar," 31 Mar. 2021 This spiritual form of narcissism reminds me of Chansley’s language on Facebook around star seeds. Marisa Meltzer, Washington Post, "QAnon’s Unexpected Roots in New Age Spirituality," 29 Mar. 2021 The narcissism of the Sussexes is only the latest evidence that social mores directing us toward higher purposes are in short supply. Cameron Hilditch, National Review, "Why Harry and Meghan Matter," 13 Mar. 2021 Is there any way around the allure of spiritual narcissism? Scott Barry Kaufman, Scientific American, "The Science of Spiritual Narcissism," 4 Jan. 2021 Actual diagnosed narcissism seems to be quite rare, but narcissistic traits are more common and recognizable. Amy Dickinson,, "Friend wants to ‘out’ abuser to others," 7 Jan. 2021 The apparent Democratic Senate sweep in Georgia is a fitting coda to the destructive narcissism and strutting authoritarianism of the Donald Trump years. Walter Shapiro, The New Republic, "Moderate Democrats Rule Washington Now," 6 Jan. 2021 Somehow, when the old president reached one last time into his grab bag of grievance and rhetorical narcissism, there was nothing left of his power, not even the power of shock or disgust. Washington Post, "As Trump slips out of town, Biden repurposes old symbols for new life," 20 Jan. 2021

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

15 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Narcissism.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 23 Apr. 2021.

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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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