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 Even as health authorities were calling for safe distance measures, López Obrador was busy shaking hands before cameras and taking selfies with citizens, including children. Dallas News, "U.S. companies join call for reopening of border factories despite rising deathsThis article has comments enabled.," 23 Apr. 2020 Despite the coronavirus pandemic, Thae has spent the past few weeks running around Gangnam’s skyscrapers, designer boutiques and luxury apartments, shaking hands and taking selfies with residents. Min Joo Kim, Washington Post, "Gangnam style: Former North Korean diplomat runs for parliament in swank Seoul district," 13 Apr. 2020 On the Champs-Élysées, a couple from Sacramento, Calif., Alfredo and Monique Alcausin, were taking selfies with the Arc de Triomphe behind them. New York Times, "Paris, a Magnet for the World, Becomes a Ghost City After a Lockdown Takes Effect," 17 Mar. 2020 Mushers took selfies with spectators, who also photographed and pet some of the more than 800 dogs in town for the event. Mark Thiessen, Anchorage Daily News, "Iditarod looks for relevance as race to Nome starts," 8 Mar. 2020 Taking selfies with seals can actually cause a lot of stress and harm for that animal. Laura Klairmont, CNN, "When Maine's seals are in trouble, she gets the call," 5 Mar. 2020 Fans can take selfies with Green for $25 and record a video or voicemail for $40. Kimi Robinson, azcentral, "Phoenix Fan Fusion's 2020 celeb guests include 'Doctor Who,' 'Supernatural' stars," 12 Feb. 2020 On Wednesday afternoon — even as managers briefed staffers on the restaurant’s closing ahead of the dinner shift — a few customers in the bar and lounge sat admiring the views, and taking selfies with the sky as a background. Tim Logan,, "Prudential Tower’s Top of the Hub, Skywalk to close in April," 15 Jan. 2020 Romano said people have taken selfies with the signs and ask when the next ones will be appearing. Laura Bednar, cleveland, "Independence Bike Shoppe fights against the age of internet shopping," 12 Jan. 2020

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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Time Traveler for selfie

Time Traveler

The first known use of selfie was in 2002

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Statistics for selfie

Last Updated

19 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Selfie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 27 May. 2020.

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More Definitions for selfie


How to pronounce selfie (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of selfie

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

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