Definitions

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

  • n. Selfish or excessive regard for one's personal advantage or interest.
  • n. Personal advantage or interest.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. One's personal interest or advantage, especially when pursued without regard for others.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Private interest; the interest or advantage of one's self.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. Private interest; the interest or advantage of one's self, without regard to altruistic gratification.
  • n. Selfishness; pursuit of egotistical interests exclusively, without regard to conscience.

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

  • n. taking advantage of opportunities without regard for the consequences for others
  • n. concern for your own interests and welfare

Etymologies

self- +‎ interest (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • That is, the world is transforming in ways that require shifting away from the short-term self-interest that's defined our way of life.

    Douglas LaBier: What Are the Emotional Drivers of Our National Unraveling?

  • Others, like David Brooks in The New York Times, contend that cooperation is more evolutionary than episodic, intertwined with competition: "We have an incentive to work in teams, even against our short-term self-interest because cohesive groups thrive."

    Christopher Holshek: The Power of Both

  • For such individuals the public interest becomes an ethical criterion and a spur to conscience and deliberation, a stimulus to a process for imagining a sense of public purpose and public morality, rather than negotiating a bargain in the name of self-interest Dyson, 1980: 274.

    Rediscovering Institutions

  • In order to justify the appropriateness of more integration, we may have to persuade ourselves of the degeneracy of aggregative institutions and the glories of rights, reasoned debate, and administrative autonomy, while at the same time recognizing that within a few decades we will rediscover the evils of integration and will once again embrace exchange in the name of self-interest.

    Rediscovering Institutions

  • Socio-economic analysis need not deny that in part the incentives for investment in such bonds, as distinct from trying to garner maximum benefit from every transaction, are due to “enlightened” long-term self-interest.

    THE MORAL DIMENSION

  • “Go bind your sons to exile,” Kipling urged—not in the name of self-interest but “to serve your captives’ need” in the “thankless” duty “to seek another’s profit.”

    The Chosen Peoples

  • He understands politics as a matter of power, and democratic politics as a matter of powerful coalitions cultivated and maintained with self-interest aka money, money, money.

    How Green Became Obama's Albatross

  • In the immediate postwar years, there was skepticism and outright disbelief in the idea that the individual's pursuit of what Adam Smith defined as self-interest would add up, in the aggregate, to the benefit of “all.”

    The Commanding Heights

  • "It's true that the notion of self-interest was critical,"

    The Full Feed from HuffingtonPost.com

  • In the immediate postwar years, there was skepticism and outright disbelief in the idea that the individual’s pursuit of what Adam Smith defined as self-interest would add up, in the aggregate, to the benefit of “all.”

    THE COMMANDING HEIGHTS

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