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

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 All people, though, intersect with somewhat selfish responses to events. Scott Lebar, sacbee, "A shooting in the family: The Capital Gazette is in my journalism DNA," 30 June 2018 How selfish can my mom be getting married at 3 p.m. Saturday. Georgi Kantchev, WSJ, "Loyalties Are Tested When the Big Game Falls on Your Big Day," 6 July 2018 Emmylou Harris talks about how trapped Presley must have felt by fame, by pressure, by the selfish and self-serving choices made by manager Colonel Tom Parker. Bill Goodykoontz, azcentral, "Elvis Presley as metaphor for America in 'The King'," 12 July 2018 Despite being the sign of relationships (since they are represented by the scales), Libras can be a bit selfish in their dating and are prone to ghosting. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "What Your Zodiac Sign Says About Your Online Dating Style," 6 July 2018 By helping its host cells, Feschotte says, the transposon achieves its selfish ends. Mitch Leslie, Science | AAAS, "Don’t call it junk—This ‘jumping’ gene may be why you made it past an embryo," 21 June 2018 In other words, June’s refusal to leave was selfish in more ways than one. Sophie Gilbert, The Atlantic, "A Maddening Season Finale for The Handmaid’s Tale," 11 July 2018 The researchers plan to modify this selfish gene to create daughterless mice: females carrying two copies will give birth only to males, potentially leading to a population crash. Ewen Callaway, Scientific American, "Controversial CRISPR “Gene Drives” Tested in Mammals for the First Time," 10 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

11 Oct 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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Comments on selfish

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