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

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 French president, who is projected to be reelected for a second five-year term today, is certainly selfish, and arrogant, and seems to think the world revolves around his own apparently endless brilliance and grandeur. Tom Mctague, The Atlantic, 24 Apr. 2022 Who are funny and caring and flawed and sometimes selfish, but still worthy of love. Lester Fabian Brathwaite, EW.com, 13 Apr. 2022 Another explanation might be that in romantic relationships, it is expected for both partners to be selfish, to focus on their own needs and feelings. Adam Kirsch, The New Republic, 22 Mar. 2022 One adventurer’s selfish act more than 50 years ago might not bear emphasizing—except that Tompkins later became a famous altruist who renounced the business world and moved to a cabin in Patagonia. Michael O’donnell, The Atlantic, 5 Aug. 2021 Such critics saw this form of grief as irresponsible, selfish, a diversion from the public duties that community members ought to be focusing on. Leo Kim, Wired, 14 Mar. 2022 The little girl is handed over to servants who are instructed to keep her quiet and out of the way — an arrangement that leaves her spoiled, selfish, and unloved. Sarah Schutte, National Review, 13 Mar. 2022 The judge called the defendant selfish, arrogant and narcissistic during the sentencing. Daniel Kreps, Rolling Stone, 10 Mar. 2022 Anyone who has watched them for an extended period of time knows that Oregon State is soft, selfish, and not at all resilient. John Canzano, oregonlive, 3 Feb. 2022 See More

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.

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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Dictionary Entries Near selfish

self-involvement

selfish

selfishly

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Statistics for selfish

Last Updated

4 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Selfish.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/selfish. Accessed 24 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for selfish

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

More from Merriam-Webster on selfish

Nglish: Translation of selfish for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of selfish for Arabic Speakers

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