self-interest

noun
self-in·​ter·​est | \ ˌself-ˈin-t(ə-)rəst How to pronounce self-interest (audio) ; -ˈin-tə-ˌrest, -ˌtrest; -ˈin-tərst \

Definition of self-interest

1 : a concern for one's own advantage and well-being acted out of self-interest and fear
2 : one's own interest or advantage self-interest requires that we be generous in foreign aid

Keep scrolling for more

Other Words from self-interest

self-interested \ ˌself-​ˈin-​t(ə-​)rə-​stəd How to pronounce self-interested (audio) ; -​ˈin-​tə-​ˌre-​ , -​ˈin-​ˌtre-​ ; -​ˈin-​tər-​ \ adjective
self-interestedly adverb
self-interestedness noun

First Known Use of self-interest

1595, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about self-interest

Time Traveler for self-interest

Time Traveler

The first known use of self-interest was in 1595

See more words from the same year

Statistics for self-interest

Cite this Entry

“Self-interest.” The Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/self-interest. Accessed 27 January 2020.

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for self-interest

self-interest

noun
How to pronounce self-interest (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of self-interest

disapproving : concern only for getting what you want or need and not about what happens to other people
: your own interest or advantage

Keep scrolling for more

Comments on self-interest

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

WORD OF THE DAY

one that suddenly gains wealth or power

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

TAKE THE QUIZ
Dictionary Devil

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

TAKE THE QUIZ
Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!