n. pl. e·gos
1. The self, especially as distinct from the world and other selves.
2. In psychoanalytic theory, the division of the psyche that is conscious, is responsible for our feelings of selfhood, and most directly interacts with external reality.
a. An exaggerated sense of self-importance; conceit.
b. Appropriate pride in oneself; self-esteem.
[New Latin, from Latin, I; see eg in the Appendix of Indo-European roots. Sense 2, translation of German Ich, a special use of ich, I, as a psychoanalytic term.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.