AskDefine | Define selfish

Dictionary Definition

selfish adj : concerned chiefly or only with yourself; "Selfish men were...trying to make capital for themselves out of the sacred cause of civil rights"- Maria Weston Chapman [ant: unselfish]

User Contributed Dictionary




  1. Holding one’s self-interest as the standard for decision making.
  2. Regard for oneself above others’ well-being.

Derived terms


holding one's self-interest as the standard for decision making
  • Danish: egoistisk, selvisk
  • Finnish: itsekäs, itsekeskeinen
  • Hungarian: önző
  • Japanese: わがままな, 利己的な
  • Russian: эгоистичный
regard for oneself above others' well-being
  • Danish: egoistisk, selvisk
  • Finnish: itsekäs, itsekeskeinen
  • Hungarian: egoista
  • Japanese: わがままな, 利己的な
  • Kurdish:
    Sorani: خۆ په‌رست
  • Russian: эгоистичный

Extensive Definition

Selfishness denotes the precedence given in thought or deed to the self, i.e., self interest or self concern. It is the act of placing one's own needs or desires above the needs or desires of others. Selfishness is the opposite of altruism.
The implications of selfishness have inspired divergent views within religious, philosophical, psychological, economic and evolutionary contexts.

See also


selfish in Hebrew: אנוכיות
selfish in Portuguese: Egoísmo
selfish in Serbian: Себичност

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

acquisitive, ambitious for self, autistic, avaricious, careerist, covetous, egocentric, egocentristic, egoistic, egoistical, egomaniacal, egotistic, egotistical, grasping, greedy, grudging, illiberal, inconsiderate, individualistic, mean, mercenary, miserly, narcissan, narcissine, narcissistic, narcistic, narrow, niggardly, parsimonious, penny-pinching, penurious, personalistic, possessive, privatistic, remote, self-absorbed, self-admiring, self-advancing, self-aggrandizing, self-besot, self-centered, self-concerned, self-considerative, self-contained, self-devoted, self-esteeming, self-indulgent, self-interested, self-jealous, self-loving, self-occupied, self-pleasing, self-seeking, self-serving, self-sufficient, stingy, thoughtless, tight, tight-fisted, uncharitable, ungenerous
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