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From self +‎ -ish. Compare Danish selvisk (selfish), Swedish självisk (selfish).


  • IPA(key): /ˈsɛlfɪʃ/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɛlfɪʃ


selfish (comparative more selfish or selfisher, superlative most selfish or selfishest)

  1. Holding one's own self-interest as the standard for decision making.
    • 1997, John Peniel, The Children Of The Law Of One & The Lost Teachings Of Atlantis, chapter 10, page 127
      “We all have both a selfish separate self, and an Inner Being that is One with the Universal Spirit. In this sense, every human has a sort of ‘split personality’. We are all kind of what you call ‘schitzy’ with these two sides, these two people living within us. And they are in total opposition. The free will dictates which of these two sides will have its way in our life, at every given moment.”
  2. Having regard for oneself above others’ well-being.
    • 1922, Ben Travers, chapter 5, in A Cuckoo in the Nest:
      The most rapid and most seductive transition in all human nature is that which attends the palliation of a ravenous appetite. [] Can those harmless but refined fellow-diners be the selfish cads whose gluttony and personal appearance so raised your contemptuous wrath on your arrival?
  3. (video game characters) Relying on their own actions and capabilities to be effective in the game, rather than on other characters.
    • 2021, Sid Natividad, Thegamer[1]:
      With that said, there is a perk to Xiao being a selfish DPS. He plays like Razor where he needs to be out in the field more than 90 percent of the time. Compared to Diluc, Xiao is more independent when it comes to dealing damage.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Said of people and their thoughts and actions, such as motives, desires, acts.



Derived terms[edit]


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See also[edit]