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Self-absorbed   /sɛlf-əbzˈɔrbd/   Listen
Self-absorbed

adjective
1.
Absorbed in your own interests or thoughts etc.  Synonym: self-involved.






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Self-absorbed" Quotes from Famous Books



... received the mercy of God, lives harsh, hard, self-absorbed, implacable, and uncommunicative, will keep that mercy in any vivid consciousness or to any blessed issue. The servant took his fellow-servant by the throat, and said, 'Pay me that thou owest,' and his master ...
— Expositions of Holy Scripture - Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets. St Matthew Chapters I to VIII • Alexander Maclaren

... hearse. It is an impressive custom—one of the humanities of the Catholic—to lift the hat at the sight of such a procession; such an act, performed like this by prince and beggar in the crowded street, so gay, busy, self-absorbed, bears affecting witness to the common vicissitudes and instincts of mankind. The dead leaves strewed the avenue of Pere la Chaise, and the bare trees creaked in the gale as we threaded sarcophagi, tablets, and railed cenotaphs; in the distance, smoke-canopied, ...
— Continental Monthly, Vol. I. February, 1862, No. II. - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... placed between the cure and her sister-in-law. Duchemia could not have been guilty of the offence of ignoring her; but the truth is that, save when courtesy demanded that he pay her some attention, he hardly saw her. She was pretty enough, but very quiet and self-absorbed, a slender, nervous creature with that pathetically eager look peculiar to her age and caste in France, starving for the life she might not live till marriage should set her free. A pale and ineffective wraith beside Eve, whose beauty, relieved ...
— Alias The Lone Wolf • Louis Joseph Vance

... Easterfield how Mr. Hemphill was faring. His reply was only half satisfactory. He reported the young man as doing very well, and being well; he was growing fat, and that did not improve his looks; and he was getting more and more taciturn and self-absorbed. "Why was he taciturn?" Olive asked herself. "Was he brooding and melancholy?" She did not know anything about the fat, and what might be its primal cause; but her mind was not ...
— The Captain's Toll-Gate • Frank R. Stockton

... occupied his thoughts and for the moment somewhat bewildered his understanding. But as he was a conscientious man and quite capable of taking the lead when once roused to the exigencies of an occasion, Mr. Roberts felt a certain interest in watching the slow awakening of this self-absorbed man to the awful circumstances which in one instant had clouded the museum in an atmosphere ...
— The Mystery of the Hasty Arrow • Anna Katharine Green

... imagine their presence necessary to all about them, when they learn that their disappearance from the world sent a thrill of relief through the hearts of those nearest them! To learn how little they were prized, will one day prove a strong medicine for souls self-absorbed. ...
— The Flight of the Shadow • George MacDonald

... the open of the lawn he saw a gentleman standing somewhat listlessly, self-absorbed, as though he were not a party to the incessant turmoil of the others, ...
— Thoroughbreds • W. A. Fraser

... now unaccountable that she had been so little troubled with fears. Ignorance of the world had not blinded her, nor was she unaware of her husband's history. But the truth was that she had not cared to entertain suspicion. For a long time she had not seriously occupied her mind with Reuben. Self-absorbed, she was practically content to let happen what would, provided it called for no interference of hers. Her indifference had reached the point of idly accepting the present, and taking for granted that things would ...
— The Emancipated • George Gissing

... to her mistress, though, in truth, she seemed to walk a little unsteadily herself. Felice followed with Keith, who was silent and self-absorbed. ...
— Shapes that Haunt the Dusk • Various

... of the incomplete journal made a subtle change in Adam. He had been silent and self-absorbed from the first, but he had never quite given up hope. Even now, Robin sought to keep up the pretence, and dreading the despair which she saw creeping over Adam, she began artfully to seek some means of interesting him in something ...
— The Master-Knot of Human Fate • Ellis Meredith

... corner of the lane ahead, Jimmie Dale's pace became still more leisurely. A man and a woman were strolling up the street toward him. They passed. Jimmie Dale, at the corner of the lane now, glanced behind him. The two were self-absorbed. And then, like a shadow merging with the darkness of the lane, Jimmie Dale ...
— The Further Adventures of Jimmie Dale • Frank L. Packard

... that Borrow wrote. Perseverance is still more emphasised, because it was the main contribution of Jacob to the human ideal, the quality most lacking in Esau. Tenderness may seem to be less evident; and I know it is a common opinion that Borrow's ideal of life was too self-absorbed to allow of much sympathy with others. I think this view is mistaken. There was undoubtedly a strong stress laid on the duty of protecting one's own life and personality from outside influence, and a corresponding stress ...
— George Borrow - A Sermon Preached in Norwich Cathedral on July 6, 1913 • Henry Charles Beeching

... mirror. It was morning in the great room, morning for the southern day, morning for the old plantation whose bell now jangled faintly and afar off—morning indeed for Miss Lady, who now had ceased in her self-absorbed dance. At this very moment, as she stood gazing into the mirror, with the sunlight and the roses thus at hand, one might indeed have sworn that it was morning for ever, over all ...
— The Law of the Land • Emerson Hough

... perfectly incurious about what I did, self-absorbed as a god. And I was alone in the garden, with the semicircle of trees behind me, and the facade of the old house and its terrace in front. And lying on the lawn, just under the terrace, was the white end of the cigarette ...
— Sacred And Profane Love • E. Arnold Bennett

... never was a book more full of stories of trouble and strife, disaster and sorrow. God Himself is revealed in it not as a calm, untroubled, self-absorbed Deity, occupied in beatific contemplation of His own perfections. He is a God who works and labours, who wars against the evil, who fights for the good. The psalmist speaks of Him as "The Lord of Hosts, strong and mighty in battle." The Revelation of St. John tells us that "There was war in Heaven; ...
— What Peace Means • Henry van Dyke

... generous, eager, wilful nature, who has always some aim in sight, who makes mistakes perhaps, gives offence, collides high-heartedly with others, makes both friends and enemies, loves and hates, is anxious, jealous, self-absorbed, resentful, intolerant—there is always hope for such an one, for he is quick to despair, capable of shame, swift to repent, and even when he is worsted and wounded, rises to fight again. Such a nature, through pain and love, can learn to chasten his base ...
— Where No Fear Was - A Book About Fear • Arthur Christopher Benson

... her own simplicity in fancying that he had been "taken" by her—that she could ever really count among these happy self-absorbed people! They all had their friends, their ties, their delightful crowding obligations: why should they make room for an intruder in a circle so ...
— The Custom of the Country • Edith Wharton

... our easy-tempered King for your graceful despot," said Fareham. "Pride is the mainspring that moves Louis' self-absorbed soul. His mother instilled it into his mind almost before he could speak. He was bred in the belief that he has no more parallel or fellow than the sun which he has chosen for his emblem. And then, for moral worth, he is little better than his cousin, ...
— London Pride - Or When the World Was Younger • M. E. Braddon

... the tiny waterfall jarred poignantly—laughing water caring nothing that the hand that had planted much of the beauty of its banks was stilled for ever. It had always seemed a living being tumbling joyously down the hillside, it seemed alive now—callous, self-absorbed. ...
— The Shadow of the East • E. M. Hull

... relationship of disinterestedness and devotion. Friendship in its accepted sense is not the highest of the different grades in that relationship, but it has its place in the kingdom of love, and through it we bring ourselves into training for a still larger love. The natural man may be self-absorbed and self-centred, but in a truer sense it is natural for him to give up self and link his life on to others. Hence the joy with which he makes the great discovery, that he is something to another and another is everything to him. It is the higher-natural for ...
— Friendship • Hugh Black

... entrance, Louise concealed something in a drawer, and turned the key on it. But Maurice was too self-absorbed to heed her action, or consciously to hear her exclamation at his haggard appearance. He shut the door, crossed to where she was standing, and, without speaking, pulled her nearer to the lamp. By its light, he scanned her face with ...
— Maurice Guest • Henry Handel Richardson

... Wickhoff suggests, Venus exhorting Medea to listen to the love-suit of Jason; but the subject is not forced upon us, and we are more occupied with the contrast between the two beautiful personalities, so harmoniously related to each other, yet so opposed in type. The gracious, self-absorbed lady, with her softly dressed hair, her loose glove, her silvery satin dress, is a contrast in look and spirit to the goddess whose free, simple attitude and outward gaze embody the nobler ideal. The sinuous and enchanting line of Venus's figure against the crimson cloak ...
— The Venetian School of Painting • Evelyn March Phillipps

... change had come over Claire's home life. Her mother's unfailing string of trivial gossip, formerly not without a certain interest, now scarcely held her to even polite attention. Indeed, her self-absorbed silence, while Mrs. Robson poured out the latest news about Mrs. Finnegan's second sister's husband's mother—who was suddenly stricken with some incurable disease, made all the more mysterious by the fact that its nature was not divulged—was so apparent that her mother, goaded ...
— The Blood Red Dawn • Charles Caldwell Dobie

... gradually ceased to give him pleasure. He found his friend's wife middle-class, self-absorbed, and artificial, the friend himself donnish, cut and dried, and liable to anecdotic seizures of increasing frequency. The intimacy dwindled and was now moribund. But it never entered his mind to enquire into the whereabouts of the sister, and to continue his acquaintance with her ...
— Prisoners - Fast Bound In Misery And Iron • Mary Cholmondeley

... she asked, "that thousands of other self-absorbed men have considered their own particular work of supreme importance, and that most of them ...
— Queed • Henry Sydnor Harrison

... were all excited and delighted at the thought of his coming visit! Radmore was now looked upon as a fairy godfather might have been. They were too young, too self-absorbed, to realise that these wonderful gifts out of the blue never seemed to wing their way to Betty or Janet. Yet stop, there had been an exception. Last Christmas each had received an anonymous fairing—Betty, ...
— What Timmy Did • Marie Adelaide Belloc Lowndes

... his tendency towards inactivity and contemplation, he ought to have been flung at an early age into the whirl of life, instead of which he had been deliberately kept in seclusion. And now the magic circle was broken, but he remained standing on the same spot, cramped in mind and self-absorbed. ...
— Liza - "A nest of nobles" • Ivan Sergeevich Turgenev

... into the empyrean, and this self-absorbed woman, who never in her life had earned the equivalent of a single day's food, launched the sweet, white-souled girl of the tropics upon the oozy waters of New York society with such eclat that the Sunday newspapers devoted ...
— Carmen Ariza • Charles Francis Stocking

... futile regret, but to be always moving forwards, and welcoming every sign of confidence and goodwill. He had a way, too, of making one realise the dignity and necessity of work, without cherishing any self-absorbed illusions about its impressiveness or its importance. His creed was the recognition of all beauty and vividness as an unquestionable sign of the presence of God, the Power that made for order and health and strength and peace; and the deep necessity of growing ...
— Father Payne • Arthur Christopher Benson

... see about it," he grunted; but his wife felt more hopeful, and was even unusually solicitous of his wants in the way of coffee and marmalade and cream. Josiah was shrewd if he did happen to be deeply self-absorbed in his health, and he noticed that Theodora's eyes were brighter and her ...
— Beyond The Rocks - A Love Story • Elinor Glyn

... sometimes struck me as if she were telling me, speaking of herself in the third person, of her own feelings—as if I were listening to a woman's confidences, the recital of her doubts, scruples, and agonies about a living lover. For Mrs. Oke, who seemed the most self-absorbed of creatures in all other matters, and utterly incapable of understanding or sympathising with the feelings of other persons, entered completely and passionately into the feelings of this woman, this Alice, who, at some moments, seemed to be not ...
— Hauntings • Vernon Lee

... scientific or reflective nature, would be a kind of physical suffering. And how fortunate it is that there are, and always will be such women! Many of them are gifted with the supreme talent of making happiness around themselves,—and in this way they benefit humanity more than the often too self-absorbed student of things which are ...
— The Secret Power • Marie Corelli

... omit self-discipline and self-culture in its zeal for world-embracing charities. Even the religious affections, when they assume the character of passions, either, on the one hand, are kindled into wild fanaticism, or, on the other, lapse into a self-absorbed quietism, which forgets outside duties in the luxury of devout contemplation; and though either of these is to be immeasurably preferred to indifference, they both are as immeasurably inferior to that ...
— A Manual of Moral Philosophy • Andrew Preston Peabody

... perhaps a little readier than before to talk of indifferent topics, to laugh at indifferent wit. Those who have ears to hear and eyes wherewith to see learn to distrust the laugh that is too ready, the sympathy that flows in too broad a stream. Happiness is self-absorbed. ...
— With Edged Tools • Henry Seton Merriman

... somehow the law of the spiritual world would admit of exception, and that you can win happiness, goodness, and the full tide of life; become the best that you are capable of being, while remaining isolated, self-absorbed—by being centripetal, not centrifugal. It cannot be. Now this is worth saying to you, because you know here at school what a united social life is. All girls do not know this. You do. There is distinctly here a school ...
— Three Addresses to Girls at School • James Maurice Wilson

... drudgery long and often enough to get, at any rate once and again, view of the proportions of life and of the stage and plot of its action. We speak often with amusement, sometimes with distaste and uneasiness, of men who "have no sense of humor," who take themselves too seriously, who are intense, self-absorbed, over-confident in matters of opinion, or else go plumed with conceit, proud of we cannot tell what, enjoying, appreciating, thinking of nothing so much as themselves. These are men who have not suffered that wholesome change. ...
— Modern American Prose Selections • Various

... are stars overhead and the glowing eyes of cat ladies, of lithe silken ladies who pass you, or of stiff-whiskered men. Beware of those men and the gleam of the split-pupiled stare. They are haughty, punctilious, inflammable: self-absorbed too, however. They will probably not even notice you; but if they do, you are lost. They take offense in a flash, abhor strangers, despise hospitality, and would think nothing of killing you or me on their way home ...
— This Simian World • Clarence Day Jr.

... and stare blankly over his shoulder, to stop myself crying out in weariness of his vanity and pettiness? Cruel! Because, occasionally, patience becomes exhausted at the mere contemplation of a man so self-absorbed? Why, you married miserably, the Duke of St. Olpherts tells us! Before you made yourself my husband's champion and protector, why didn't you let your experience speak a word for me? [AGNES quickly turns away and sits upon the settee, her hands ...
— The Notorious Mrs. Ebbsmith • Arthur Wing Pinero

... a coat of horny concealment. Somehow, there was a shivering sense of disappointment in all this meeting with Moses. She had dwelt upon it, and fancied so much, and had so many things to say to him; and he had come home so self-absorbed and glorious, and seemed to have had so little need of or thought for her, that she felt a cold, sad sinking at her heart; and walking away very still and white, sat down ...
— The Pearl of Orr's Island - A Story of the Coast of Maine • Harriet Beecher Stowe

... already waiting to act groom, while Larry Witcom also accidentally hovered near. He quite as casually took possession of Carry, so there was nothing for a common individual like myself but to become extremely self-absorbed, so that my keen observation might not be an interception of any interest likely to circulate between the knight and the lady. The latter seemed to be in one of her contrary moods, so attached herself ...
— Some Everyday Folk and Dawn • Miles Franklin

... not so entirely torpid as it appeared, nor was she so absolutely self-absorbed. One idea was rising day by day out of the dark confusion of her thoughts, and that was the goodness and generosity of her lover. In this appreciation there was not the faintest glows of gratitude. She left herself wholly out of the account as ...
— Dr. Heidenhoff's Process • Edward Bellamy

... and chirping going on within them. Near the stove sat a raven, whose rough plumage, and the white feathers about his beak and wings, proved his great age. He had drawn his head in between his shoulders, and seemed self-absorbed, but in reality his bright eye was observing every ...
— Debit and Credit - Translated from the German of Gustav Freytag • Gustav Freytag

... of a young Russian Jewess to describe the vivid inner life of an old Talmud scholar, probably her uncle or father, as of one persistently occupied with the grave and important things of the spirit, although when brought into sharp contact with busy and overworked people, he inevitably appeared self-absorbed and slothful. Certainly no one who had read her paper could again see such an old man in his praying shawl bent over his crabbed book, without a sense ...
— Twenty Years At Hull House • Jane Addams

... Mary's delicate health and difficult position into consideration. Mary, by all accounts, seems naturally to have had a sweet and unselfish disposition, although she had sufficient character to be self-absorbed in her work, without which no work is worth doing. It is true that her friend Trelawny later appeared to consider her somewhat selfishly indifferent to some of Shelley's caprices or whims; but this was with the pardonable weakness of a man who, although he liked character in a woman, still ...
— Mrs. Shelley • Lucy M. Rossetti

... except what she may gather from her desultory reading, and, henceforth, her family and her immediate neighborhood absorb her whole soul under ordinary circumstances. The great majority of our countrywomen thus grow careworn, narrow-minded, self-absorbed. Now this is not right—it is not necessary. A woman's first, most important duty is in her home; but this need not clip the wings of her spirit, so that thought and affection cannot go out into the great ...
— The Continental Monthly, Vol. 6, No 4, October, 1864 - Devoted To Literature And National Policy • Various

... justice—for he was, on the whole, rather apt to be polite than otherwise, in his way—entirely forgot the professor's existence for the time being. He was too self-absorbed to think of other people. He thought he was bewitched, and felt a strong and healthy impulse to throw off the witchery before doing any thing else. He sprang up the steps, across the balcony, traversed the hall with ...
— Bressant • Julian Hawthorne

... man to hurry from his place was John Chilcote, member for East Wark. He passed out of the House quickly, with the half-furtive quickness that marks a self-absorbed man; and as he passed the policeman standing stolidly under the arched door-way of the big court-yard he swerved a little, as if startled out of his thoughts. He realized his swerve almost before it was accomplished, and pulled himself together ...
— The Masquerader • Katherine Cecil Thurston

... without geniality; only you do not go far enough. You are afraid. People are for ever talking, especially you philanthropical people, about making others happy. I do not know any way so sure of making others happy as of being so oneself, to begin with. I do not mean that people are to be self-absorbed; but they are to drink in nature and life a little. From a genial, wisely-developed man good things radiate; whereas you must allow, Milverton, that benevolent people are very apt to be one-sided and fussy, and not of the sweetest temper if others will not be ...
— Friends in Council (First Series) • Sir Arthur Helps

... evening and night the good priest sat silently beside the chauffeur, but his lips were moving constantly, his fingers passing the rosary beads as he prayed for the boy he loved. The chauffeur, who knew him well, had never found the priest so self-absorbed. As a general rule, Father Healy made the longest journey short; to-night he could only pray silently. For he had seen Desmond grow up from infancy to manhood, and had prepared him for the Sacraments. ...
— Grey Town - An Australian Story • Gerald Baldwin

... already abundantly appeared, was but a poor author. His stiff, turgid style makes his works in many places most difficult to understand, as the present translators have found to their cost, and he was therefore practically unreadable to the general public. In his usual self-absorbed fashion, he did not perceive these deficiencies of his, nor could he be got to see the folly of private publication. Indeed, on the contrary, he dreamed of fabulous sums which one day he was to realise by the sale of his works. It is needless to add that the event ...
— Autobiography of Friedrich Froebel • Friedrich Froebel

... was out now. She was jealous of his books, a little. Well, he had been self-absorbed. It occurred to him dimly that the thing to have done if he had known a little more about women, had practised with them, was to have provoked her at this point to the tears which should have sealed the renewal of his claim to her. What he said ...
— The Lovely Lady • Mary Austin

... often false, intoxicated with vanity, selfish and self-absorbed, frivolous and shallow; yet of all women, when they love, they sacrifice their personal feelings to their passion; they rise but so much the higher for all the pettiness overcome in their nature, and become sublime. ...
— Father Goriot • Honore de Balzac

... rubbing its sleek sides against the skirts of its mistresses; the lap-dog was restless; and upon the hearthrug a drowsy spaniel lay with his nose between his paws, and whined fitfully in a dog's day-dream; whilst the females, at length altogether ceasing to eat, sat self-absorbed. On the face of the elder was an expression of sorrow tempered with patience, but on that of the younger, an air of melancholy was mingled with resentment, that heightened almost into majesty a form and countenance of extraordinary and statuesque beauty. ...
— The Advocate • Charles Heavysege

... Little Sorrel was met with further on. Imperturbable and self-absorbed, with his weather-stained uniform, his great boots, his dreadful cap, he exhibited as he rode a demeanour in which there was neither heaviness nor lightness. Never jovial, seldom genial, he was on one day much what he was on another—saving ...
— The Long Roll • Mary Johnston

... about like one in a dream; and was so self-absorbed, that he did not see Mrs. Gaunt coming ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 105, July 1866 • Various

... asked Ulrica Hardyng, sorrowfully. "Clemence, you must surely think more of this former friend than you can of me, since you will intrust her alone with the privilege I would give so much to share. You have told me that this Mrs. Linden is a self-absorbed woman, sufficient unto herself, while I am only a heart-broken creature, isolated completely from those who were once dear to me. Shall I tell you how I have watched and waited for this hour, when I could be of some assistance to you, and thus bind you closer to me? ...
— Clemence - The Schoolmistress of Waveland • Retta Babcock

... mood—" his clear-eyed smile belied that state of mind—"I just run in here for a bit of bear-baiting—rather good sport—bear-baiting. This is a den of bears you know. Oh, yes, rather! They are all elderly bears, very crabbed and self-absorbed and very smart and immaculate—but bears none the less. Each has his particular chair, which to his own self-centered mind is his private pedestal. They sit here with their manicured hands resting idly on their robust, waistcoated tummies and stare out on the world ...
— Destiny • Charles Neville Buck

... which interfered with his programme, he resented and resolutely avoided. He became indeed aware that other people, to whom the value of his work was not apparent, were apt to regard the jealous arrangement of his hours as the mere whim of a self-absorbed dilettante. But that troubled Hugh little, because he realised that his only hope of doing sound and worthy work lay in making a sacrifice of the ordinary and trifling occupations of life, of forming definite habits, for the want of which ...
— Beside Still Waters • Arthur Christopher Benson

... "I am a self-absorbed beggar," he went on. "I had been slouching about the place, almost driven mad by my thoughts, and when I saw you took me for a servant my fancy was for letting the thing go on. If I had been a rich man instead of a pauper I ...
— The Shuttle • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... them. Caroline was arguing with this head-waiter in a raised voice, a voice so clear and young that it seemed as though the whole restaurant would listen—the whole restaurant except Olive Masters, self-absorbed ...
— Tales of the Jazz Age • F. Scott Fitzgerald

... intensely subjective and self-absorbed character of mind, he had no understanding of human nature, no insight into character with its marvelous complexities and contradictions. With these limitations Poe, as might be expected, had a very ...
— Selections From Poe • J. Montgomery Gambrill

... need to do with ourselves occasionally. We need to take a journey from our self-absorbed centre, and see ourselves with a fresh eye and ...
— Pebbles on the Shore • Alpha of the Plough (Alfred George Gardiner)

... wrought a noticeable change in the man before her. He had aged. Hard living and hard travelling had left their marks. But, like Lady Tranmore, she also perceived another difference. The eyes bent upon her were indeed, as before, the eyes of a man self-centred, self-absorbed. There was no chivalrous softness in them, no consideration. The man who owned them used them entirely for his own purposes; they betrayed none of that changing instinctive relation towards the human being—any human ...
— The Marriage of William Ashe • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... pale and quiet; so helpful, patient, and affectionate, that Mrs. Sterling watched her anxiously; David looked amazed; and, even self-absorbed Kitty saw the change, ...
— Work: A Story of Experience • Louisa May Alcott



Words linked to "Self-absorbed" :   egoistic, self-centered, self-centred, egoistical, egocentric, self-involved



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