selfish

adjective
self·​ish | \ˈsel-fish \

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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Other Words from selfish

selfishly adverb
selfishness noun

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

The Franzen Fence is selfish, privileged, and maybe impractical, but if used correctly, can theoretically produce Good Work for all to enjoy. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "What Paris Couture and Jonathan Franzen Have in Common," 6 July 2018 USA TODAY Sports MOSCOW — Cristiano Ronaldo is selfish, arrogant, attention-hungry and in love with himself. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "This World Cup makes it official: Cristiano Ronaldo is greater than Lionel Messi," 22 June 2018 Self-care can seem indulgent, even selfish, in the face of destruction. Alexandra Pattillo, CNN, "Too much bad news can make you sick," 1 June 2018 At a time when women, especially, were required to think about everyone else before themselves, (Ward) was selfish, but wonderfully so. Darcel Rockett, chicagotribune.com, "Nevertheless, princesses persisted: Author examines the power of the crown," 17 May 2018 The mutations the RNAs pick up are selfish, in that they get copied more efficiently than the starting RNAs. John Timmer, Ars Technica, "New system shows the earliest life could cooperate despite “cheaters”," 3 Sep. 2018 Once again Cadillac has its own DOHC V8, and GM says only Cadillac will get to use it—a weirdly selfish and wonderful throwback to the old days. Matthew Jancer, Popular Mechanics, "Why GM Finally Let Cadillac Build an All-New Twin-Turbo V8," 28 Aug. 2018 But, like Xavier, there are plenty of upperclassmen who enjoy playing together and aren’t selfish. Cincinnati Enquirer, Cincinnati.com, "Paul Daugherty on UC Bearcats: Good and getting better as NCAA March Madness looms," 1 Feb. 2018 United's reason for keeping Martial is a rather selfish one. SI.com, "Tottenham Fans React as New Report Provides Update on Anthony Martial's Man Utd Future," 2 July 2018

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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Statistics for selfish

Last Updated

6 Dec 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for selfish

The first known use of selfish was in 1628

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More Definitions for selfish

selfish

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of selfish

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

selfish

adjective
self·​ish | \ˈsel-fish \

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 \

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

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with selfish

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for 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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