noun nar·cis·sism \ˈnär-sə-ˌsi-zəm\

Definition of narcissism

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

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


play \ˈnär-sə-sist\ noun or adjective


play \ˌnär-sə-ˈsi-stik\ adjective

Examples of narcissism in a sentence

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

Did You Know?

Narcissus was a handsome youth in Greek mythology who inspired love in many who saw him. One was the nymph Echo, who could only repeat the last thing that anyone said. When Narcissus cruelly rejected her, she wasted away to nothing but her voice. Though he played with the affections of others, Narcissus became a victim of his own attractiveness. When he caught sight of his own reflection in a pool, he sat gazing at it in fascination, wasting away without food or drink, unable to touch or kiss the image he saw. When he finally died, the gods turned him into the flower we call the narcissus, which stands with its head bent as though gazing at its reflection. People with "narcissistic personality disorder" have a somewhat serious mental condition, according to psychologists, but the rest of us are free to call anyone who seems vain and self-centered a narcissist.

Origin and Etymology of narcissism

German Narzissismus, from Narziss Narcissus, from Latin Narcissus

First Known Use: 1822

Medical Dictionary


noun nar·cis·sism \ˈnär-sə-ˌsiz-əm\

Medical Definition of narcissism

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

  2. 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

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up narcissism? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


holding stubbornly to a belief or view

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

  • manet-jeanne-spring
  • Which is a synonym of chaffer?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.