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alter ego

1. Another name or identity that one assumes. He's a clean-cut accountant during the week, but on the weekend he indulges in hedonistic pursuits as his alter ego "Jack." Journalist Clark Kent is, of course, better known by his famous alter-ego, Superman. I had no idea John had this punk rock alter-ego, Johnny Bones! Is he really in a band?
2. A separate or different aspect or element of one's personality, identity, or psyche. For such a quiet woman, she has a rage and temper at times that is like some alter ego. I'm very shy in person, but, in my writing, a vivacious alter ego comes out to play. I'd never seen him lash out like that before—it's like he had an alter ego or something.
3. A close, inseparable friend of very similar attitudes and interests. My girlfriend and I are so similar, we are like each other's alter ego. I didn't think I would survive Liz's death. We'd met in second grade, so we'd been basically alter egos our whole lives. I have plenty of friends, but no one really gets me like Sophie does. She's like my alter ego.
4. A person who acts as a substitute for or copy of another person; a doppelgänger. Owing to failing health, the dictator has left his son to run the country for the past month, essentially operating as his alter ego. I'll be filling in for your teacher for the rest of the week. Just think of me as her alter ego! No one respects him because he thinks he's some bigshot when he's really just the boss's alter ego in her absence.
See also: alter, ego

bruise (one's) ego

To wound one's pride. I just worry that if she finds out she didn't get that promotion, it will really bruise her ego. Yeah, getting rejected by that beautiful woman bruised my ego a bit, but I'm no worse for wear. Let's order another round, fellas!
See also: bruise, ego

bruised ego

A mildly wounded sense of pride or self-esteem. He'll be fine. He's just got a bit of a bruised ego because he was passed over for the promotion. A: "You OK?" B: "Yeah, fine. Just a bruised ego is all—that random guy I was talking to rejected me."
See also: bruise, ego

ego trip

A display of superiority and self-centeredness. Are you on an ego trip? I'm not one of your lowly interns, so you can get your own coffee! The boss must have been on a real ego trip when he decided to name the building after himself.
See also: ego, trip


Someone who is apt to act in a superior and self-centered manner. Don't get coffee for that ego-tripper—you're not one of his lowly interns. The boss must be a real ego tripper—I mean, he named a building after himself!

feed (one's) ego

To do something that encourages or affirms one's inflated sense of self-importance. Please don't feed Tom's ego. That insufferable jerk is conceited enough as it is. All the praise for her new book is really feeding her ego. She thinks she's the greatest author since Margaret Atwood.
See also: ego, feed

massage (one's) ego

To appeal to one's pride or vanity. You're not going to get what you want by massaging the boss's ego. If anything, that's a good way to get in trouble with her! I couldn't resist massaging my ego a bit by reading some of the good reviews for my latest film.
See also: ego

stroke (one's) ego

To appeal to one's pride or vanity. You're not going to get what you want by stroking the boss's ego. If anything, that's a good way to get in trouble with her! I couldn't resist stroking my ego a bit by reading some of the good reviews for my latest film.
See also: ego, stroke
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

stroke someone's ego

Fig. to flatter and praise someone. If you have trouble with him, just take a few minutes and stroke his ego. You'll soon have him eating out of your hand.
See also: ego, stroke
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

ego trip

Behavior or activities undertaken mainly out of vanity or for self-gratification. For example, She's really on an ego trip, trying out for the lead. [1960s]
See also: ego, trip
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

ego trip

n. a public expression of one’s feelings of importance or superiority. The guy is on another ego trip. Pay no attention.
See also: ego, trip

ego tripper

n. a person who habitually goes on an ego trip. Not another ego tripper running for public office!
See also: ego, tripper
McGraw-Hill's Dictionary of American Slang and Colloquial Expressions Copyright © 2006 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc. All rights reserved.

ego trip

A display of self-importance, a vehicle for self-satisfaction: for example, “These annual art shows of hers are simply an ego trip; she has no talent whatsoever.” This pejorative term dates from the second half of the 1900s. It brands someone as an egotist, which Ambrose Bierce defined as “A person of low taste, more interested in himself than in me” (The Devil’s Dictionary, 1911).
See also: ego, trip
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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References in periodicals archive ?
All of this is ego - just an accretion of vapid thoughts and feelings that we have about ourselves.
The irony is that in protecting itself, the ego destroys communication, relationships and even businesses - and for what?
The Toby Carvery will serve its last meals this weekend before the restaurant is transformed into an Ego Mediterranean.
The Ego Steak and Gambas is one of the dishes people will be able to try at the new restaurant.
Cue the confusion between ego and its related adjective of "egotistic".
But having an ego, maybe this can be construed differently.
In other words, "love" means drawing whatever is perceived as "good," to the self, the Ego.
If you have a coach with an inflated ego, what can you do?
The latest attempt to bring electric bikes to British roads had now come from eGO Vehicles in Surrey.
There has been a growing fascination with London fashion within Ego Soleil.
Ego states in a Normal condition are healthy and non-pathological.
The UFS avoided war for centuries but spent a fortune on a military deterrent leading to a collective national ego believing that the country had military superiority over everyone.
This is the shell of ego, the protective shell of a person in control, navigating through various everyday life situations.
Abstract: Heart-Centered therapies have drawn from the traditions and techniques of Ego State therapy and developmental psychotherapy.