self-im·​por·​tance ˌself-im-ˈpȯr-tᵊn(t)s How to pronounce self-importance (audio)
: an exaggerated estimate of one's own importance : self-conceit
: arrogant or pompous behavior

Examples of self-importance in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Ohtani doesn’t walk around with the self-importance of a player who signed a $700-million contract over the winter, and his low-key demeanor has won over many of the people who share his new workspace. Dylan Hernández, Los Angeles Times, 9 Feb. 2024 In recent years, though, another of the sport’s defining traits — a self-importance that bleeds into pomposity — has made its stance even more tenuous. Rory Smith, New York Times, 20 Oct. 2023 That showy language is part of a pattern of self-importance and grievance that Trump deploys to ride the hills and valleys of his turbulent life, said Paul Elovitz, a psychohistorian at Ramapo College in New Jersey who specializes in profiling presidents. Marc Fisher, Washington Post, 11 Oct. 2023 Even at its height, Playboy seemed to have a smug self-importance that gave the finger to the common man. Andy Greene, Rolling Stone, 5 Sep. 2023 Happily, there are also those like Felix, a photographer who has his own looming portfolio deadline but none of his friend’s self-importance. Justin Chang, Los Angeles Times, 12 July 2023 One great joy of the show is watching Marsden’s fellow jurors — all actors themselves — scoff at the celebrity’s self-importance. Tyler Coates, The Hollywood Reporter, 23 June 2023 But as charismatic and talented as Jackson is, his presence alone is not enough to carry a show weighed down by its own self-importance. Kelly Lawler, USA TODAY, 21 June 2023 But what really makes the book worth reading is the broader wisdom in her story (and the absence of the self-importance implied by the book’s unfortunate title). Bethany McLean, Washington Post, 8 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'self-importance.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1727, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of self-importance was in 1727

Dictionary Entries Near self-importance

Cite this Entry

“Self-importance.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

Kids Definition


: an exaggerated opinion of one's own importance
self-importantly adverb
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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