egoism, egotism
1. Both are 18c words for ‘preoccupation with oneself’ in various ways. There is no etymological difference to affect their meanings, and the intrusive -t- in egotism is unexplained. When Fowler wrote about these words (1926), egotism was the more popular form, and his prediction that egoism would oust it has not been fulfilled. It is useful to maintain a distinction: egotism is the general word for excessive self-centredness, whereas egoism is a more technical word in ethics and metaphysics for theories which treat the self as the basis of morality and sense-perception. In an extended meaning, egotism also means self-seeking conceit, whereas egoism is a more straightforward preoccupation with the self and an excessive use of I. The meanings are however so close that they will not stay apart in ordinary usage, nor will those of the corresponding personal designations egoist and egotist (although strictly an egoist is someone who subscribes to a type of morality based on the importance of the self and an egotist is a self-seeker) and of the adjectival forms egoistic / egoistical and egotistic / egotistical.
2. Some examples follow: (egoism and its derivatives)

• I have never gone out of my way for man, woman, or child. I am the complete egoist —Vita Sackville-West, 1931

• How much of us will be recognisable in the pages of the history books of 2066? This egoist's niggle spiralled up into my mind —New Statesman, 1966

• He can retain his insights into another person, and use them in choices of means, without abandoning his long-term egoistic ends for the altruistic goals to which he briefly felt himself drawn —A. C. Graham, 1985

• He [sc. C. S. Lewis] writes about it in unforgettably dramatic terms and with the sublime egoism (to use the word purely, with no pejorative sense) of a man alone with God —A. N. Wilson, 1990

• Hutcheson thought of himself as defending the reality of moral distinctions, and the genuineness of a morally good benevolence which was not egoistically based —T. L. S. Sprigg, 1990

• (egotism and its derivatives) Nothing so confirms an egotism as thinking well of oneself —Aldous Huxley, 1939

• He was continually talking about himself and his relation to the world about him, a quality which created the unfortunate impression that he was simply a blatant egotist —H. Miller, 1957

• To justify or to condemn them in public is a squalid piece of egotism when it will hurt the living —C. Day Lewis, 1960

• I had always thought him to be egotistical and attention-seeking —D. M. Thomas, 1990

• It amazed her that she'd ever believed herself in love with him, that she'd deluded herself into seeing his arrogance and his egotism as positive qualities —S. Marton, 1993.

Modern English usage. 2014.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Egotism — is the motivation to maintain and enhance favorable views of self. Egotism means placing oneself at the center of one s world with no direct concern for others. It is closely related to narcissism, or loving one s self, and the possible tendency… …   Wikipedia

  • egotism — EGOTÍSM s.n. Atitudine individualistă care provine din acordarea unei importanţe exagerate propriei persoane. – Din fr. égotisme. Trimis de LauraGellner, 10.06.2004. Sursa: DEX 98  Egotism ≠ altruism Trimis de siveco, 02.02.2005. Sursa: Antonime …   Dicționar Român

  • Egotism — E go*tism (?; 277), n. [L. ego I + ending tism for ism, prob. influenced by other English words in tism fr. the Greek, where t is not part of the ending, as baptism. See {Egoism}.] The practice of too frequently using the word I; hence, a… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • egotism — [ē′gō tiz΄əm, eg′ōtiz΄əm; ē′gətiz′əm, eg′ətiz΄əm] n. [L ego, I2 + tism (for ISM), as in NEPOTISM] 1. constant, excessive reference to oneself in speaking or writing 2. self conceit 3. selfishness: Egotism is generally considered more opprobrious… …   English World dictionary

  • egotism — index pride Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • egotism — 1714, from EGO (Cf. ego) + ISM (Cf. ism) (see EGOTIST (Cf. egotist)). Meaning “selfishness” is from 1800 …   Etymology dictionary

  • egotism — egoism, *conceit, self love, amour propre, self esteem Analogous words: vanity, vainglory, *pride: boasting or boastfulness, vaunting or vauntfulness, gasconading (see corresponding verbs at BOAST): pluming, piquing, priding, preening (see PRIDE… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • egotism — ► NOUN ▪ the quality of being excessively conceited or absorbed in oneself. DERIVATIVES egotist noun egotistic adjective egotistical adjective …   English terms dictionary

  • egotism — /ee geuh tiz euhm, eg euh /, n. 1. excessive and objectionable reference to oneself in conversation or writing; conceit; boastfulness. 2. selfishness; self centeredness; egoism. [1705 15; < L ego EGO + ISM; t perh. after DESPOTISM, IDIOTISM2] Syn …   Universalium

  • egotism — (= egoism), noun Darla s egotism will always thwart her chances for a lasting relationship Syn: self centeredness, egomania, egocentricity, self interest, selfishness, self seeking, self serving, self regard, self love, narcissism, self… …   Thesaurus of popular words

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