look out for number one

Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
Jump to navigation Jump to search

English[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • (file)

Verb[edit]

look out for number one (third-person singular simple present looks out for number one, present participle looking out for number one, simple past and past participle looked out for number one)

  1. (idiomatic) To act in one's own interests; to act in a manner advantageous primarily to oneself.
    • 1870, Horatio Alger, Rufus and Rose, ch. 3:
      "I'm a poor widder, Mr. Martin, and I must look out for number one. I can't afford to keep boarders that don't pay their bills."
    • 1906, Mark Twain, "What is Man?":
      Old Man: A man performs but ONE duty—the duty of contenting his spirit, the duty of making himself agreeable to himself. . . . [H]e always looks out for Number One.

Related terms[edit]

Translations[edit]