Word Confusion: Egoism versus Egotism

Posted November 16, 2017 by Kathy Davie in Author Resources, Self-Editing, Word Confusions, Writing

Yep, it’s all about ME. Me, me, me.

Only, there is one significant general difference. Egoism is all about the concept, the philosophy of the scholarly perception of ego. Egotism is all about, well, what can I say. Me.

Word Confusions…

…started as my way of dealing with a professional frustration with properly spelled words that were out of context in manuscripts I was editing as well as books I was reviewing. It evolved into a sharing of information with y’all. I’m hoping you’ll share with us words that have been a bête noir for you from either end.

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Egoism Egotism
Credit to: Apple Dictionary.com; Dictionary.com: egoism and egotism; Your Dictionary: egotism

A photo background of a park with a pond with a quotation on top.

“Self-Worth Love vs Egoism” is courtesy of Quotes About Living with Doe Zantamata and against a background using “VanDusen Botanical Garden 2” by Stan Shebs under the GNU or the CC-SA-3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.

Man sitting on warm brown sofa that complements the brown walls is surrounded by photos, cutout, and sculpture of himself

“Self-obsession Done Right” by MattysFlicks is under the CC BY 2.0 license, via VisualHunt.

Talk about egotism!

Part of Grammar:
Plural for noun: egoism
Plural for noun: egotism
The habit of valuing everything only in reference to one’s personal interest

  • Selfishness


  • Conceit

[Philosophy] An ethical theory that treats self-interest as the foundation of morality

Excessive and objectionable reference to oneself in conversation or writing because of an undue sense of self-importance

  • Conceit
  • Boastfulness
  • Selfishness
  • Self-centeredness
  • Egoism
One should have sufficient egoism to understand one’s central place in the universe.

Per Stanford University, there are four types of egoism: psychological, normative, ethical, and rational.

I get the impression that ethical egoism states that it is morally right if one’s self-interest is maximized.

There’s not much difference between individual and universal ethical egoism; the one is me-me-me and the second is they-they-they…as it relates to me.

In his arrogance and egotism, Henry underestimated Jill.

His egotism alienated all his friends.

It’s that egotism of the British generals in World War I that led to such tremendous losses on the battlefield.

It’s too bad that his egotism is bigger than his mental capability.

But even in this crowning triumph the cramping egotism of his nature — a mental vice which now grew on him rapidly — fatally narrowed his outlook and led him to commit an irretrievable blunder.

His character, notwithstanding the egotism by which it was disfigured, had an amiable and engaging side.

Adjective: egocentric, egoistic, egoless, egomaniacal
Adverb: egoistically
Noun: antiegoist, ego, egocentric, egoist, egomania, egomaniac, egosurfing, egotism
Verb: egosurf
Adjective: egotistic, egotistical
Adverb: egotistically
Noun: antiegotism, egotist
Verb: egotize
History of the Word:
Late 18th century from the French égoïsme and the modern Latin egoismus, from the Latin ego meaning I. Early 18th century from the French égoïste, from the Latin ego meaning I.

C’mon, get it out of your system, bitch, whine, moan…which words are your pet peeves? Also, please note that I try to be as accurate as I can, but mistakes happen or I miss something. Email me if you find errors, so I can fix them…and we’ll all benefit!

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Pinterest Photo Credits:

Kim Kardashian by Kalumba2009 and Rodeo Drive by Julie, Dave & Family are both under the CC BY-SA 2.0 license, via VisualHunt. Mercedes-Benz SLR Parked on Rodeo Drive by TobiasK is under the GNU or the CC-SA 3.0 license, via Wikimedia Commons.