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 Kyrie Irving was considered a selfish loser, getting Stephon Marbury comparisons before LeBron came back to Cleveland. Chris Fedor, cleveland, "LeBron James, Michael Jordan and how a fourth title forever changed the GOAT debate: Chris Fedor," 13 Oct. 2020 The effect of it all is to obscure the selfish recklessness that caused the president of the United States to contract the virus in the first place. Megan Garber, The Atlantic, "Donald Trump’s Dangerous Mask Trap," 9 Oct. 2020 Kiffin, it could be argued, cost Alabama the 2017 national championship by being a selfish team cancer. Joseph Goodman | Jgoodman@al.com, al, "Plenty of fresh water awaits Alabama at Ole Miss," 7 Oct. 2020 Experiments have shown that dogs will be less likely to go to a person who has demonstrated selfish behavior, such as refusing to help someone open a jar or share some cookies, said Houpt, who was not involved with the Hungarian study. NBC News, "Your dog may love you, but doesn't love the sight of your face, study finds," 5 Oct. 2020 In a culture that implicitly and explicitly encourages parents to put their kids' needs over theirs, this might seem wrong, or, heaven forbid, selfish. Elissa Strauss, CNN, "How parents shape their children's mental health," 4 Oct. 2020 Several players need discipline and to become less selfish. Mike Preston, baltimoresun.com, "Ravens have plenty of room for improvement on defense. Can they pull it off again? | COMMENTARY," 3 Oct. 2020 At worst, that was defined as evidence of his selfish disregard. Washington Post, "Trump’s refusal to wear face masks turned them into a sad national symbol," 3 Oct. 2020 Other things being equal, selfish genes should, therefore, outbreed altruistic ones. Ian Morris, The New Yorker, "How We Escaped the Worst of the California Wildfires," 22 Sep. 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

18 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

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