self·​ie | \ˈsel-fē \

Definition of selfie 

: an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks

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What is the origin of selfie?

The first-known appearance of selfie in written form occurred in 2002 on an Australian news website, but the word didn't see much use until 2012. By November 2013, selfie was appearing frequently enough in print and electronic media that the Oxford English Dictionary chose the word as its Word of the Year. This announcement itself led to a significant increase in the use of the word by news organizations, an increase that was further boosted following the December 10, 2013, memorial service for Nelson Mandela, at which American President Barack Obama was caught taking a selfie with Danish Prime Minister Helle Thorning-Schmidt and British Prime Minister David Cameron. The word selfie, with its suggestions of self-centeredness and self-involvement, was particularly popular with critics who saw this moment as a reflection of the President's character.

Examples of selfie in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

The first picture was a selfie of the two, the next, a picture of a canal in Venice. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Alexis Ohanian Posted an Adorable Instagram to Celebrate His Anniversary With Serena Williams," 16 Nov. 2018 Perhaps taking her own iconic song to heart, the pop star seemingly moved onto the next phase of her life... and did so by sharing a selfie that showed her with shorter hair. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ariana Grande Got a Shoulder-Length Haircut," 15 Nov. 2018 Plus, Stan's fellow Durmstrang wizard, Tolga, posted a selfie of the duo from inside The Wizarding World of Harry Potter. Stacey Grant, Seventeen, "These "Harry Potter" Cast Reunions Will Make You Cry Tears Of Joy," 5 Oct. 2018 Lee wasn’t in the front row to snap selfies or chase a million more likes, and that was wildly refreshing to see during fashion month. Brooke Bobb, Vogue, "Forget Influencers: Spike Lee Was the Coolest Front Row Guest at Prada," 20 Sep. 2018 Similar cease-fires in June prompted stunning scenes across Afghanistan of fighters from the rival forces embracing each other and snapping selfies. Ehsanullah Amiri, WSJ, "Afghan Forces, Backed by U.S. Firepower, Stave Off Taliban Siege," 10 Aug. 2018 But that’s not stopping tourists from snapping selfies near the volcano—despite official warnings to stay far, far away. Megan Friedman, Popular Mechanics, "The Kilauea Volcano Created a Tiny New ‘Island’ Off the Coast of Hawaii," 16 July 2018 Back in 2016, Williams also snapped a selfie with the the Duchess of Cambridge during down time. Erica Gonzales, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton Are Going to Wimbledon Together and We're So Excited," 12 July 2018 In between snapping selfies with steelworkers for Canada Day on Sunday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau came up against some uncomfortable questions. Rebecca Tan, Washington Post, "Justin Trudeau responds to groping allegations: ‘I don’t remember any negative interactions’," 2 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'selfie.' 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 selfie

2002, in the meaning defined above

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Statistics for selfie

Last Updated

2 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for selfie

The first known use of selfie was in 2002

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More Definitions for selfie



English Language Learners Definition of selfie

: a picture that you take of yourself especially by using the camera on your smartphone

Comments on selfie

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


the figure or shape of a crescent moon

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