(redirected from egos)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Acronyms, Idioms.


see psychoanalysispsychoanalysis,
name given by Sigmund Freud to a system of interpretation and therapeutic treatment of psychological disorders. Psychoanalysis began after Freud studied (1885–86) with the French neurologist J. M.
..... Click the link for more information.


one of the three elements of the personality in FREUD's theory. The ego is that part of the personality which operates in direct contact with reality, attempting to control the demands of the ID according to the strictures of the SUPEREGO and with awareness of the real world. It therefore operates under the reality principle’, in contrast to the id, which operates under the ‘pleasure principle’. The id demands immediate gratification by direct means, so the ego's role is to assess whether these demands are realistically possible, and if not, to enforce delay of gratification until expression can be had in a socially appropriate form. see also DEFENCE MECHANISM.



In traditional psychology and psychoanalysis, ego refers to one’s sense of individual selfhood. This meaning of the term is neutral or even positive and should not be burdened with the negative associations embodied in such expressions as “has a big ego.” Particularly important for dream theory, the term ego was used to designate one of the three essential components of Sigmund Freud‘s theory of the human personality. Freud referred to the ego as the “reality principle,” meaning that it is the rational, reasoning part of the psyche that undertakes the task of adjusting our inner urges to the demands and restrictions of the surrounding environment.

The other two aspects of the self in Freud’s personality theory are the superego and the id. The superego represents the internalized mores of society and tells us what is right and wrong. The superego is frequently in conflict with the id, the primitive, animal part of the self expressed in sexual and aggressive drives. The demands of external reality also tend to conflict with certain id drives. Thus, energies of both the ego and the superego tend to repress our sexual and aggressive urges, although we are often largely unconscious of these inner conflicts. When we sleep, however, the ego allows id desires to be expressed in the form of dreams, albeit in an indirect, symbolic manner that does not disturb our sleep. Someone with a strong desire to murder his father may have, for example, a dream about the accidental death (making the killing passive rather than active) of some other authority figure (a father figure).

Another major school of psychological dream interpretation was initiated by Freud’s student Carl Jung. Jung’s analysis of the psyche is related to, yet significantly different from, Freud’s. In Jung’s personality theory, the ego represents the individual’s sense of personal self. This sense of personal identity, however is purchased at the expense of certain tendencies (for instance, socially undesirable traits) that are rejected as “not-self.” According to Jung, these rejected traits come together as a kind of unconscious “counter-ego,’ which he termed the shadow. This shadow self is often experienced in dreams as another person.


The self.
The conscious part of the personality that is in contact with reality.


Psychoanal the conscious mind, based on perception of the environment from birth onwards: responsible for modifying the antisocial instincts of the id and itself modified by the conscience (superego)
References in classic literature ?
When dey do not bite off your thumbs dey are always dying from nostalgia-homesick-for dey haf der imperfect soul, which is midway arrested in defelopment-und too much Ego.
Dot friend of ours haf still too much Ego in his Cosmos, Be quiet, thou
And, as John Barleycorn heated his way into my brain, thawing my reticence, melting my modesty, talking through me and with me and as me, my adopted twin brother and alter ego, I, too, raised my voice to show myself a man and an adventurer, and bragged in detail and at length of how I had crossed San Francisco Bay in my open skiff in a roaring southwester when even the schooner sailors doubted my exploit.
A man was he, and only a poor fragment of a man and ego.
Yea, this ego, with its contradiction and perplexity, speaketh most uprightly of its being--this creating, willing, evaluing ego, which is the measure and value of things.
A new pride taught me mine ego, and that teach I unto men: no longer to thrust one's head into the sand of celestial things, but to carry it freely, a terrestrial head, which giveth meaning to the earth!
In this essay he explains how what used to be the soul has gradually been refined down to the "transcendental ego," which, he says, "attenuates itself to a thoroughly ghostly condition, being only a name for the fact that the 'content' of experience IS KNOWN.
Over years of spiritual practice he had cultivated a healthy, confident ego.
We were taught that we should suppress our Ego so Jesus could come and live in its place.
LOS ANGELES, July 8, 2013 /PRNewswire-iReach/ -- Author Gregor Reti is making a personal attack on the egos and lifestyles of shoppers on Rodeo Drive, Beverly Hills, by raising funds for an inflammatory billboard that reads, "SEX and EGO DEATH: How exciting is your sex life?
I think good luck in many regards and I suppose we just figured out the idea of a band ego being bigger than all other egos.
Don't accept or allow coaches with huge egos to become abrasive or abusive with anyone in the school.