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 Minutes before the Collina Strada Spring Summer 2020 runway show yesterday, a woman wearing an entirely orange outfit posed for a selfie with a baguette while another wearing butterfly hair clips posed with a piece of fruit. Sara Radin, Teen Vogue, "Collina Strada's NYFW 2019 Runway Show Was All About Saving The Earth," 9 Sep. 2019 Brown shows off his electric personality, mugging for selfies with the student section and scoring major points with Bay Area fans. Laurence Miedema, The Mercury News, "Antonio Brown’s wild ride with the Raiders," 8 Sep. 2019 People posed for selfies with the Jeep and some even climbed on top of it. David Williams, CNN, "Owner of the Jeep abandoned in the surf on Myrtle Beach during Hurricane Dorian explains how it got there," 6 Sep. 2019 The pies were all hand-delivered by members of Swift’s team, including her dad, Scott Swift, who also gave out promotional guitar pics and posed for selfies with his daughter’s ardent fans. Melissa Locker, Time, "Taylor Swift’s Dad Delivered Pizzas to Fans Who Spent the Night Waiting For Her Performance," 22 Aug. 2019 The 501st Legion, Rebel Legion and Mandalorian Mercs will interact with crowds (and, yeah, pose for selfies) from noon to 6 p.m. Your donation will go to the Alaska Make-A-Wish Foundation. Donna Freedman, Anchorage Daily News, "Alaska State Fair 2019: Fun from A to Z," 15 Aug. 2019 Another held her phone aloft for a selfie while twirling a cloud of cotton candy. Taylor Lorenz, The Atlantic, "Where Everyone’s an Influencer," 31 July 2019 The obviously close group got silly for some selfies, too. Abby Gardner, Glamour, "Selena Gomez Was a Gorgeous Maid of Honor at Her Cousin's Wedding," 20 July 2019 There were club members’ kids, tournament volunteers and even other players loitering and waiting for selfies. Jon Wertheim,, "50 Parting Thoughts From Wimbledon 2019," 14 July 2019

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

4 Nov 2019

Time Traveler for selfie

The first known use of selfie was in 2002

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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

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).


to spread as a report or rumor

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