Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves.
  • n. In psychoanalysis, the division of the psyche that is conscious, most immediately controls thought and behavior, and is most in touch with external reality.
  • n. An exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit.
  • n. Appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. the self, especially with a sense of self-importance
  • n. the most central part of the mind, which mediates with one's surroundings

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The conscious and permanent subject of all psychical experiences, whether held to be directly known or the product of reflective thought; the subject consciously considered as “I” by a person; -- opposed to non-ego.
  • n. that one of the three parts of a person's psychic apparatus that mediates consciously between the drives of the id and the realities of the external physical and social environment, by integrating perceptions of the external world and organizing the reactions to it. Contrasted with the id and superego.
  • n. egotism.
  • n. self-esteem.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The “I”; that which feels, acts, and thinks; any person's “self,” considered as essentially the same in all persons. This use of the word was introduced by Descartes, and has long been current in general literature.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. your consciousness of your own identity
  • n. (psychoanalysis) the conscious mind
  • n. an inflated feeling of pride in your superiority to others

Etymologies

New Latin, from Latin, I; see eg in Indo-European roots. Sense 2, translation of German Ich, a special use of ich, I, as a psychoanalytic term.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Latin egō ("I"). Chosen by Freud’s translator as a translation of his use of German Ich as a noun for this concept from the pronoun ich ("I"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • As a concept, self-esteem can be traced to Freud, who used the term ego ideal.

    Hey, I'm Terrific!

  • Over the last two and a half years we searched 2,190 news articles mainly business-related that used the word ego in any way.

    Egonomics

  • The word ego comes from Latin, where it means “I, myself.”

    Egonomics

  • If the word ego flashed in front of you, what would you write?

    Egonomics

  • ‡ The term ego is often used to mean personal pride and self-absorption: “Losing at chess doesn’t do much for my ego.

    ego

  • (EE-goh) The “I” or self of any person (ego is Latin for “I”).

    ego

  • The term ego, added to an active Indian verb, renders it passive.

    Memoirs of 30 Years with the Indian Tribes on the American Frontiers

  • The term ego-trip comes up more than once in the bonus material; one actress says she hated working on the set because of him.

    Home Theater Forum

  • I realize the problem lies with the egoist, but in my life I have been successful at many different things and in my "older" years I no longer have any tolerance to put up with any crap from anyone, regardless how BIG their ego is and how belittling they must be to others in order to salvage their fragile sense of self.

    Page 2

  • When the ego is amplified by the emotion of the painbody, the ego has enormous strength still -- particularly at those times.

    Eckhart Tolle: Living in Presence With Your Emotional Pain Body

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