3: the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality especially by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality — compare id, superego
Ego is the Latin word for "I." So if a person seems to begin every sentence with "I", it's sometimes a sign of a big ego. It was the psychologist Sigmund Freud (well, actually his original translator) who put ego into the popular vocabulary, but what he meant by the word is complex, so only other psychologists really use it in the Freudian sense. The rest of us generally use ego simply to mean one's sense of self-worth, whether exaggerated or not. When used in the "exaggerated" sense, ego is almost the same thing as conceit. Meeting a superstar athlete without a trace of this kind of ego would be a most refreshing experience. But having a reasonable sense of your own worth is no sin. Life's little everyday victories are good—in fact, necessary—for a healthy ego.
Examples of ego in a Sentence
I have enough ego not to want to give up easily in any contest or competition.
a star athlete with a refreshing lack of ego
Recent Examples on the WebDirector Gary Alazraki’s uneven adaptation — the third in seven decades after Spencer Tracy and Steve Martin reached for the migraine medication — casts Andy Garcia as the beleaguered patron whose ego outshines his child’s simpler desires.
Amy Nicholson, Variety, 14 June 2022 Not every apex predator has scales and claws and teeth the size of Elon Musk’s ego.
Mark Feeney, BostonGlobe.com, 8 June 2022 Is that worth the constant competition and ego trips?
Expert Panel, Forbes, 8 June 2022 In 1972 Vidal became the owner of the property that would come to embody his own ego and self-projection, in its exclusivity and extravagance, in its isolation and ostentation.
Christopher Bollen, Town & Country, 8 June 2022 But Thibeault and Jonas said prickly attitudes and ego swirled within the group during season six.
Frederick Dreier, Outside Online, 3 June 2022 And in fact, the only thing that stimulates his search for Will is his own ego.
Los Angeles Times, 31 May 2022 We’re built that way to protect our ego and self-identity.
Henryk Krajewski, Forbes, 2 June 2022 His philosophy is simple: the client as a person matters more than the objects being moved or the trainer’s preferences and ego.
Roger Lockridge, Men's Health, 30 May 2022 See More
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'ego.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
1: the self especially as contrasted with another self or the world
2: the one of the three divisions of the psyche in psychoanalytic theory that serves as the organized conscious mediator between the person and reality especially by functioning both in the perception of and adaptation to reality — compare identry 1, superego