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

Did posting a selfie with your local mayor or state representative at the community parade suddenly get you on a political enemies list? Eric Scott,, "Column: The social media value scale of ‘being hacked’," 13 Sep. 2019 To celebrate the milestone, Wells posted some selfies of Sarah and him getting cozy in the backseat of a car. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "A Complete Timeline of Sarah Hyland and Wells Adams' Relationship," 11 Sep. 2019 Meanwhile, Jeremy posted a sweet selfie of himself with the newlyweds, as well as a video of a bonfire that happened that night. The Editors, Good Housekeeping, "Audrey and Jeremy Roloff Share a Bunch of Photos From Jacob and Isabel's Wedding," 8 Sep. 2019 Thankfully, technology is good for more than posting selfies on the ‘gram these days and brings mental help assistance to your fingertips. Danielle Pointdujour, Essence, "The Upgrade: Three Mental Health Apps To Help You Live Better," 28 Aug. 2019 This weather system also posts selfies on Instagram proudly showing his impact on the city. John Blackstone, CBS News, "Cloud of mystery surrounds San Francisco's Karl the Fog," 27 Aug. 2019 After a demonstrator was shot in the eye with a bean-bag round from police earlier this month, thousands have posted selfies with their right eyes covered on Twitter in a show of solidarity. Adam Rasmi, Quartz, "Thirty years on, Hong Kong is emulating a human chain that broke Soviet rule," 23 Aug. 2019 Vogueworld Kourtney Kardashian Is Clearly a Super Fan of This Handsome French Designer Last night, Kourtney Kardashian posted a particularly eye-catching fashion selfie for her 81 million followers to feast on. Liana Satenstein, Vogue, "Kourtney Kardashian Is Clearly a Super Fan of This Handsome French Designer," 23 Aug. 2019 Those who broadcast their preparation for the race grow desperate to post a triumphant selfie after it. The Economist, "Why the Mexico City marathon attracts so many cheats," 22 Aug. 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

7 Oct 2019

Look-up Popularity

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

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


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