Conceit vs. Egotism

What's the Difference?

Conceit and egotism are both terms used to describe excessive self-importance or self-centeredness, but they differ in their underlying meanings. Conceit refers to an exaggerated sense of one's own abilities, achievements, or qualities, often accompanied by a desire for admiration or attention from others. It is characterized by an inflated self-image and a tendency to boast or show off. On the other hand, egotism refers to an excessive focus on oneself and one's own interests, often at the expense of others. It is marked by a lack of empathy or consideration for others and a belief in one's superiority or entitlement. While conceit is more focused on self-praise and seeking validation, egotism is more about self-centeredness and a disregard for others.


DefinitionA literary device where a character exaggerates their own importance or abilities.An excessive or exaggerated sense of self-importance or superiority.
Negative ConnotationGenerally considered negative, but can be used for comedic effect.Generally considered negative and often associated with arrogance.
OriginDerived from the Latin word "conceitus" meaning "concept" or "idea".Derived from the Latin word "ego" meaning "I" or "self".
FocusPrimarily focuses on the character's exaggerated self-image in a specific context.Primarily focuses on the individual's overall inflated sense of self-worth.
UsageCommonly used in literature, particularly in poetry and drama.Used in everyday language to describe someone who is excessively self-centered.
Examples"I am the greatest poet to have ever lived!""I am the most intelligent person in the world, and everyone else is beneath me."

Further Detail


Conceit and egotism are two terms often used interchangeably to describe individuals with an inflated sense of self-importance. While they share similarities, it is important to understand the subtle differences between these attributes. In this article, we will explore the characteristics of conceit and egotism, their impact on individuals and society, and how they differ from one another.


Conceit refers to an excessive pride or self-confidence in one's abilities, achievements, or appearance. It is often associated with a sense of superiority and a tendency to belittle others. Individuals with conceit often have an exaggerated perception of their own importance and talents, leading them to seek constant validation and admiration from others.

One of the key attributes of conceit is the tendency to boast about one's accomplishments or possessions. This can manifest in various ways, such as constantly talking about personal achievements, flaunting material possessions, or seeking recognition for even the smallest accomplishments. Such behavior stems from a deep need for external validation and a desire to be perceived as exceptional.

Furthermore, conceit often leads to a lack of empathy and understanding towards others. Individuals with conceit tend to view themselves as superior to those around them, dismissing the opinions and feelings of others as insignificant. This can result in strained relationships and a negative impact on social interactions.

Conceit can also be detrimental to personal growth and development. The excessive focus on one's own abilities and achievements can hinder the ability to learn from mistakes or accept constructive criticism. This can lead to stagnation and a resistance to change, ultimately limiting personal and professional growth.


Egotism, on the other hand, refers to an excessive preoccupation with oneself and an inflated sense of self-importance. While similar to conceit, egotism is characterized by a more self-centered and self-absorbed nature. Individuals with egotism often prioritize their own needs and desires above those of others, displaying a lack of consideration or empathy.

One of the key attributes of egotism is the constant need for attention and admiration. Egotistical individuals seek validation and recognition from others to maintain their inflated self-image. They often engage in attention-seeking behaviors, such as dominating conversations, interrupting others, or exaggerating their achievements, in order to be the center of attention.

Egotism also manifests in a sense of entitlement and a belief that one deserves special treatment or privileges. Egotistical individuals may expect others to cater to their needs and desires without considering the impact on others. This can lead to a disregard for boundaries and a lack of respect for the autonomy and feelings of those around them.

Furthermore, egotism often results in a lack of genuine connections and meaningful relationships. The self-centered nature of egotistical individuals makes it difficult for them to form deep emotional bonds or empathize with others. This can lead to feelings of isolation and loneliness, despite the external appearance of confidence and self-assuredness.

Egotism can also hinder personal growth and development. The excessive focus on oneself and disregard for others' perspectives can limit opportunities for learning and self-improvement. Egotistical individuals may resist feedback or constructive criticism, hindering their ability to grow and develop as individuals.


While conceit and egotism share similarities in terms of an inflated sense of self-importance, there are distinct differences between the two attributes. Conceit is characterized by excessive pride and self-confidence, often accompanied by a need for validation and admiration. It can lead to a lack of empathy and hinder personal growth. On the other hand, egotism is marked by a self-centered and self-absorbed nature, with a constant need for attention and a sense of entitlement. It can result in a lack of genuine connections and hinder personal development.

Both conceit and egotism have negative impacts on individuals and society. They can strain relationships, hinder collaboration, and create a toxic environment. However, it is important to note that not all individuals with an inflated sense of self-importance exhibit extreme conceit or egotism. Some may display milder forms of these attributes, which can still have negative consequences but may be more manageable.


In conclusion, conceit and egotism are attributes characterized by an inflated sense of self-importance. While conceit is marked by excessive pride and self-confidence, egotism is characterized by a self-centered and self-absorbed nature. Both attributes have negative impacts on individuals and society, hindering personal growth, straining relationships, and creating a toxic environment. Understanding the differences between conceit and egotism can help us recognize and address these attributes in ourselves and others, fostering healthier relationships and personal development.

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