self·​ie | \ ˈsel-fē How to pronounce selfie (audio) \

Definition of selfie

: an image that includes oneself (often with another person or as part of a group) and is 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 Oxford Dictionaries (publisher of the Oxford English Dictionary as well as other dictionaries) 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 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

In Northern California, where 50,000 sunflowers are at or near full bloom, sightseers want their sunflower selfies., "Today: Shooting Themselves in the Foot?," 10 July 2019 However, there are times when selfies are absolutely necessary. Maria Pasquini,, "Mariah Carey Reveals She's 'Only Been with 5 People in My Life': 'I'm Kind of a Prude'," 9 July 2019 There is also growing evidence that selfies are not simply a tween and teen obsession. Kate Eichhorn, WIRED, "Social Media Could Make It Impossible to Grow Up," 8 July 2019 The first is a selfie of the actress wearing a crop top and a floral bottoms. Kayleigh Roberts, Marie Claire, "Katie Holmes Shares Two Very Sexy Instagram Posts," 7 July 2019 In their smiling selfie, the muscian is seen wearing a neck brace. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Courteney Cox Cares for Snow Patrol's Johnny McDaid Following Spinal Surgery," 1 July 2019 On social media, selfies are photos of a person, really nothing more than that. Susan Dunne,, "When is a selfie art? When it shows the soul, like these portraits at City Gallery," 11 June 2019 Just remember to follow the light, and your selfie will already stand apart from the rest. Kristen Mcnicholas, National Geographic, "Your best photos of the week, April 5, 2019," 5 Apr. 2019 And even lazy-afternoon selfies are totally chic in her hands: Picture the gorgeous young starlet lounging on a sofa—not in sweats, but a sleek navy and red midi dress. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, "Meet the Thai Superstar Who Stole the Show at Valentino’s Pre-Fall Extravaganza in Tokyo," 27 Nov. 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

15 Jul 2019

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Time Traveler for selfie

The first known use of selfie was in 2002

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English Language Learners Definition of selfie

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

Comments on selfie

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characterized by aphorism

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