selfish

adjective
self·​ish | \ ˈsel-fish How to pronounce selfish (audio) \

Definition of selfish

1 : concerned excessively or exclusively with oneself : seeking or concentrating on one's own advantage, pleasure, or well-being without regard for others
2 : arising from concern with one's own welfare or advantage in disregard of others a selfish act
3 : being an actively replicating repetitive sequence of nucleic acid that serves no known function selfish DNA also : being genetic material solely concerned with its own replication selfish genes

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Examples of selfish in a Sentence

She's interested only in her own selfish concerns. I wish he'd spend less time with his friends and more time with me. Am I being selfish?
Recent Examples on the Web But this selfish decision was what was right for my family. Dave Clark, Cincinnati.com, "Family kept Luke Fickell from leaving UC Bearcats for Michigan State," 10 Feb. 2020 When, in 2004, O’Neal was traded to Miami, many blamed Bryant, painted as a selfish ball hog and whose reputation was tainted by his criminal case. Sean Gregory, Time, "'He Was Going to Do Great Things.' Why Many Believed the Best Was Ahead of Kobe Bryant," 30 Jan. 2020 The Cabreras are protective of one another even before the specter of deportation is formally introduced, in contrast to the selfish Thrombeys. Hannah Giorgis, The Atlantic, "The Unlikely Hero of Rian Johnson’s Knives Out," 29 Nov. 2019 This team has gone to great lengths to prevent such selfish strategy with a larger, longer-term plan in mind. Dave Hyde, sun-sentinel.com, "Hyde: It’s tough to tank as badly as Dolphins are this season, but let me give it a try | Commentary," 2 Nov. 2019 Re: Worried My ex’s mom openly admitted to me that her son is a selfish loser who treated me poorly. Carolyn Hax, The Mercury News, "Carolyn Hax: My son thinks we should be happy about his baby," 24 Sep. 2019 Despite our selfish reputation, millennials are the sharing generation. Elise Taylor, Vogue, "Rent the Room: Is the Furniture Industry About to Be Disrupted?," 15 May 2019 If Curry was selfish, Durant would have signed with some other team. Scott Ostler, San Francisco Chronicle, "Stephen Curry started — and carried — a Warriors’ dynasty," 8 June 2018 The recent decision by Harry and his wife to step back from their duties and become more financially independent was dismissed by some as selfish and ungrateful. Kevin Cullen, BostonGlobe.com, "The abdication of stiff upper lips," 13 Jan. 2020

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'selfish.' 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 selfish

1628, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for selfish

Time Traveler

The first known use of selfish was in 1628

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Statistics for selfish

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Selfish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/selfish. Accessed 29 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for selfish

selfish

adjective
How to pronounce selfish (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of selfish

disapproving : having or showing concern only for yourself and not for the needs or feelings of other people

selfish

adjective
self·​ish | \ ˈsel-fish How to pronounce selfish (audio) \

Kids Definition of selfish

: taking care of only your own needs and feelings without thought for others

Other Words from selfish

selfishly adverb
selfishness noun

selfish

adjective
self·​ish | \ ˈsel-fish How to pronounce selfish (audio) \

Medical Definition of selfish

: being an actively replicating repetitive sequence of nucleic acid that serves no known function selfish DNA also : being genetic material solely concerned with its own replication selfish genes

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More from Merriam-Webster on selfish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for selfish

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with selfish

Spanish Central: Translation of selfish

Nglish: Translation of selfish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of selfish for Arabic Speakers

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