Selfish Definition. What does Selfish mean?



To be called selfish or be known as a selfish person is not desirable. Why?

Because selfish is an adjective that describes someone who only cares about themselves and what they want. The needs of others are not as important to them as their own.

The opposite of selfish is unselfish, to be thoughtful, kind, considerate, and generous.

Although selfishness is not a good thing, surprisingly we use the word ‘selfish’ quite often. It is not uncommon to hear a parent tell their children not to be selfish and share their toys with others for example.

When used seriously, someone may be told that they are acting selfishly, for instance:

  • Lydia, you are acting selfishly, the coffee in the office is for everyone not just for you. Please don’t take the coffee pot to your desk.
  • Stop thinking only about yourself, why are you so selfish?

Another serious way to use this word is when speaking about another person who is not present.

  • I thought Owen acted very selfish at lunch; he didn’t offer anyone else the last few slices of pizza before he took them and he had already eaten half the pizza too!
  • It was selfish of Jane to assume no one else wanted to go to the party.

A more casual use of selfish is humorous or funny. Have a look at the examples below.

  • I was selfish and bought a whole pizza just for myself!
  • It may have been selfish of me, but I spent the afternoon at the spa getting a massage.
  • I needed some me time and so selfishly went away for the weekend without my family.

Used in this form the person speaking is trying to be funny and evoke laughter from the people listening.

Although the word selfish is usually used to describe a person, we can use it to describe a company who does not like to share their products with other.

  • The company acted selfishly and did not distribute any of its profits to external investors.
  • That company has a reputation for being selfish and not caring about its customers.

Overall, the word selfish is either quite serious or used to be humorous. Here is a good way to remember how to use it correctly.

When speaking about someone else, selfish is a serious word, be careful that you do not offend someone by misusing this word.

If speaking about yourself then you are trying to be funny and humorously using the word.

So please don’t be selfish, share your thoughts with us by leaving a comment below! We promise always to be unselfish and share the other posts on our website too.

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