self·​ie ˈsel-fē How to pronounce selfie (audio)
: 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 Gomez’s snap with her beau was followed by a selfie taken with her close friend Nicola Peltz Beckham in the same surroundings. Kirsty Hatcher, Peoplemag, 12 Feb. 2024 On February 8, the 26-year-old cosmetics mogul shared a stunning selfie, debuting a new pixie-bob mashup with wispy bangs. Emily Tannenbaum, Glamour, 10 Feb. 2024 The passport selfies, the forms and the guards all add up to keeping visitors secure. Christopher Elliott, Forbes, 10 Feb. 2024 Every time Martha Stewart posts a selfie, the internet loses it. Kara Nesvig, Allure, 8 Feb. 2024 After taking selfies for a few days, the pair was sent to Lignier’s mother’s house in the Provence region of France to live out the rest of the rodent days in peace (and anonymity). Aj Willingham, CNN, 3 Feb. 2024 Photograph: Snap Hey, remember when Snap made a drone that flew over your head and shot an aerial selfie? Boone Ashworth, WIRED, 3 Feb. 2024 There are new ways to keep the music going and the power flowing while also reserving storage space for each and every selfie. Karen Sullivan -, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 Play among the flowers at Daniel Stowe Botanical Garden, and don’t forget to take a few selfies. Melissa Oyler, Charlotte Observer, 31 Jan. 2024 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'selfie.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

2002, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of selfie was in 2002


Dictionary Entries Near selfie

Cite this Entry

“Selfie.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 21 Feb. 2024.

Kids Definition


plural selfies
: an image of oneself taken by oneself using a digital camera especially for posting on social networks
Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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