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

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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

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Time Traveler for self-interest

The first known use of self-interest was in 1595

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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

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More from Merriam-Webster on self-interest

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with self-interest

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for self-interest

Spanish Central: Translation of self-interest

Nglish: Translation of self-interest for Spanish Speakers

Comments on self-interest

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behavior toward others

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