The ego has different meaning depending on how it is used. This page has a modern and brief explanation of the most common meanings and definitions.
Ego and Id
In a nut shell the ego is basically the way our conscious minds handle all of the primitive unconscious feeling and desires. Sigmund Freud called the primitive subconscious mind the (Id) the id includes all the basic desires such as instant gratification, the id is all basic instinctual desires. The ego allows us to resist acting solely on our instincts and emotions such as anger and fear, it allows us to be brave and to do the right thing. When somebody offends us or threatens us it allows us to control ourselves and not to lash out in anger or revenge. The ego also has to deal with the world around us and interpreting everything that the world contains.
The super ego is the powerful conscious mind and its beliefs. It’s responsible for our sense of morals, ethics and a strong sense of what is right and wrong and to feel guilt and remorse. It’s responsible for a desire to fit in socially with people and understanding what is socially acceptable.
Egotism – Narcissism
Egotism is an over exaggerated sense of self importance, it’s closely related to narcissism, people who are considered egotists talk about themselves often with a sense of importance, they may have very little interest in what others have to say. Often they will talk about their achievements and look to seek value from others, at the same time they may talk down another persons achievements. Egotists have a strong motivation to make themselves look and feel important, much of what they do and say will be to satisfy their egotistical mind set.
Ego gratification refers to an individuals motivation to feel important and superior to other people, and to generally feel good about themselves. Ego gratification is considered to be a strong motivator of words and actions for many people, how strong an influence it has depends on the individual and their mental state. When ego gratification goes too far it can lead to egotism and narcissist behaviors.