concerned primarily with one’s own interests, benefits, or welfare, regardless of others.


US English

UK English

Part of Speech



egoistic, self-centered, self-serving, self-interested, self-absorbed, greedy, self-seeking


unselfish, altruistic, selfless, generous, magnanimous, charitable

Word Forms

Part of Speech Words
Noun selfishnesses, selfishness
Verb None
Adjective selfish
Adverb selfishly

Example Sentences

  • Sarah’s selfish nature was evident when she consistently put her own needs and desires above those of others, rarely showing any consideration or empathy.

  • Despite his friend’s dire situation, Mark remained selfish, refusing to lend a helping hand or offer any support.

  • The politician’s selfish actions were driven solely by personal gain and ambition, disregarding the welfare and interests of the constituents he was elected to serve.

  • Clara’s selfish behavior strained her relationships as she constantly sought personal advantage without regard for the feelings or well-being of others.


Selfish is a word that describes a person who prioritizes their own interests, wants, and needs above those of others. It is often used in a negative context to describe someone who lacks empathy and consideration for others and is solely focused on themselves. A selfish person may act in ways that benefit themselves without considering the consequences for others, or they may be unwilling to share their resources, time, or affection.

The word “selfish” has its roots in the 16th century, derived from the Old English word “self,” meaning “one’s own.” Over time, the word has evolved to describe a person who prioritizes their own needs and desires above all else, often to the detriment of others.

While being selfish is often viewed as a negative trait, there are some circumstances where a little bit of self-interest is not necessarily a bad thing. For example, taking care of oneself and one’s own needs can be important for maintaining personal health and well-being. However, when this self-interest becomes extreme and begins to harm others, it can be considered truly selfish behavior.

In conclusion, the word “selfish” is used to describe someone who prioritizes their own interests above those of others and lacks empathy for the needs and feelings of others. When this behavior becomes extreme, it can have negative consequences for those around the person and for their relationships.