Definitions

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

  • n. In Freudian theory, the division of the unconscious that is formed through the internalization of moral standards of parents and society, and that censors and restrains the ego.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The part of the mind that acts as a self-critical conscience, reflecting social standards that have been learned.

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

  • n. (psychoanalysis) that part of the unconscious mind that acts as a conscience

Etymologies

New Latin (translation of German Überich : über-, over, above + Ich, ego a special use of ich, I, as a psychoanalytic term) : Latin super-, super- + New Latin ego, ego; see ego.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
super +‎ ego, from earlier form super-ego, calqued after German Über-Ich, from über- ("super-") + Ich ("ego"), from the pronoun ich ("I"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The superego is the voice of moral outrage, of the whistle-blower and the tattle-tale, the first to kick you when you’re down and to insist you deserve your misfortune.

    On Judgment « Tales from the Reading Room

  • In the language of psychoanalysis, sublimation reconciles the needs of the ego, or what I want for myself, with those of the superego, which is our sense of what the outside world requires of us.

    BREAKFAST WITH SOCRATES

  • She wages war on The Voice — what Freud called the superego — a scolding presence that may try to shame or ridicule women into pursuing a cadaverous look through anorexia or bulimia.

    AIRPLANE READING

  • Everyone gets these two versions of judgment mixed up because we all have a part of the brain known as the superego, or the internalized voice of authority.

    On Judgment « Tales from the Reading Room

  • The inner critic, also known as the superego, continuously undermines our authority and holds us accountable for all sorts of alleged misdeeds.

    For Democracy's Sake, Vote for Euthanasia

  • The superego is the element of personality that dictates conscience-right and wrong.

    The Odd Id and Fat Superego of George Bush

  • The superego is a regulator of mood and self-esteem and may be involved in severe depressive states.

    Object Relations Theory and Self Psychology in Social Work Practice

  • The phrase “conceptual environment” is almost synonymous with what psychoanalysts call superego and even more with what anthropologists call culture.

    ENVIRONMENT

  • A tween's brain simply hasn't developed enough yet to really understand and carry out the tenets of cybersafety because the pre-frontal cortex-the area in the brain crucial for impulse control, future thinking, and what Freud called "superego" or conscience-doesn't fully develop until a person's mid- to late 20s.

    Boston.com Top Stories

  • I don't mean that my mind is like my "superego," dictating shoulds and shouldn'ts like some disembodied parental authority in my head.

    Carter Phipps: My Mind Is Like My Mother

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