20 ways to define a narcissist in 1 word

You’re pretty sure someone in your life is a narcissist, but you want to be certain. How can you tell whether someone has narcissistic personality disorder?

You can look out for some key personality traits that narcissists tend to share. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a psychologist to identify these traits.

Below, we’ll make it simple for you. We’ll give you twenty words that define a narcissist. This makes it easy to identify when someone shows traits of narcissism. 

Now, don’t take this as a sign that you’re qualified to go out and diagnose people. Instead, use it as a resource to identify narcissistic traits. 

How to Define a Narcissist in 1 Word?

The list below describes 20 key traits that typically indicate narcissistic behavior. Once you recognize these traits, you can be pretty sure about your situation.

After you identify the narcissist, you can take steps to protect yourself.

Let’s dive in!


A narcissist by definition is someone who has an inflated sense of self-worth. These folks have big egos, and they’ll be sure that you know how wonderful they are.

Expect the narcissist to brag about their accomplishments and remind you that they’re superior to everyone around them. 


You can be pretty sure you’re dealing with a narcissist when the world revolves around them. They’re entirely self-absorbed and don’t have much time for other people’s feelings.

Narcissists lack empathy, so they have a hard time understanding that others have different needs or feelings than they do. This results in some pretty selfish behavior. 


The narcissist is a master manipulator! They feel they have a right to do whatever they need to get what they want from you.

If this involves manipulating you to get their way, they have no qualms about doing that. They have several methods of manipulation, and they’ll try all of them.

Look out for blame-shifting, guilt tripping, or playing the victim. These are all ways of manipulating your feelings so you’ll give in to whatever the narcissist wants.


Arrogance is the narcissist’s middle name. They need to believe they’re better than you, so they can prop up their ego.

Expect them to remind you that they’re wonderful, and you’ll never be as great as them. 


The narcissist believes they should get whatever they want, at the exact moment they request it. Their sense of entitlement is such that they expect you to drop what you’re doing to cater to them.

They don’t care how their demands affect you. In their mind, they deserve automatic compliance, and they are shocked when they don’t get it from you. 


Along with the narcissist’s big ego comes some grandiose behavior. They think they’re pretty special, and they want everyone to know.

The narcissist’s grandiosity can be quite excessive, to the point that their self-perception is distorted. For example, they might believe themselves to be incredibly talented when, in reality, they’re quite mediocre. 


It’s all about the narcissist all the time. They are completely self-absorbed, believing they are unique and should be recognized.

The narcissist doesn’t have time for anyone but themselves. They are too busy seeking out the admiration they believe they deserve. 


The narcissist thrives when they maintain power and control over others. Being in control reinforces their belief that they’re superior to everyone around them.

You can expect the narcissist to control how you act, what you wear, and who you spend time with. It’s their way or the highway, and there will be consequences if you don’t follow the rules. 


Narcissists think they’re better than everyone around them, and they have disdain for those they perceive as inferior. They’ll remind you that they’re more talented and perfect than you.

Be careful not to question their superiority. If you do, you can expect the narcissist to react with rage at this perceived injustice. 


Narcissists love to be the center of attention. Their fragile egos wilt when they don’t have the attention they deserve.

They’ll go to great lengths to get attention and pout when all eyes aren’t on them. When attention is directed toward someone else, they’ll do something to get it back on themselves.

They might “one up” everyone in a conversation, or make some grand presentation about their latest accomplishments so they can be the center of attention again. 


This trait might be harder to notice, but it’s worth mentioning. You’ll come to realize that most of the narcissist’s existence is quite paradoxical.

On the one hand, they appear incredibly arrogant and overly confident. On the other hand, the slightest piece of criticism can send them into a tailspin.

This behavior occurs because underneath the narcissist’s grandiose facade is a weak, fragile ego. They don’t want you to realize how insecure they actually are, so they present themselves as superior. 


It’s all about me, me, me with the narcissist. They don’t care how their behavior affects others; they’re only concerned about their own interests.

This means they might stomp on your feet to get ahead. Don’t expect them to care if you’re hurt; you don’t actually matter. 


A narcissist has no problem exploiting you if it means they can get their way. One way they achieve this is by deceiving you.

They may present themselves as being incredibly kind and caring, only to stab you in the back once they get what they want from you. 


Narcissists have an exaggerated sense of their own importance. They believe that they have more to offer than others do.

They believe their contributors are more significant in work settings than their colleagues. In relationships, they believe they’re the show’s star, and you’re just lucky they would stoop so low as to give you the time of day. 


Everything about the narcissist is blown out of proportion. If they do a good job of something, they’ll describe their work as perfection.

They’ll talk about themselves as the next major league star if they’re an average athlete. The narcissist inflates all of their achievements and positive traits to boost their self-esteem. 


It’s no secret that the narcissist has a high opinion of themselves. They will constantly remind you of how wonderful they are.

They truly think they’re the best at everything they do and want the world to know it. 


Narcissists are, by definition, exploitative. They have an uncanny ability to use you and feel no remorse. 

They don’t care about you as a person. They simply care about what you can offer them. 


The narcissist is incredibly proud of their appearance and accomplishments. They may even appear as if they’re in love with themselves.

Expect the narcissist to go on and on about how admirable they are. They will come out and tell you how attractive, brilliant, or successful they are. 

If you aren’t on their level, they’ll be full of criticism and disdain for you. 


Lack of empathy is also among the defining features of a narcissist. People with narcissistic traits can come across as quite cold and callus, because they simply don’t have time for other people’s feelings.

This means if you’re struggling, they will completely dismiss your feelings. They might even call you too sensitive or try to make you feel guilty for having feelings. 


Finally, don’t expect any sincerity from a narcissist. They may pretend to be genuine and kind, but it’s only an act.

They pretend to be sincere to get what they want from you. It’s all part of their manipulative games. 

The bottom line

There you have it: the 20 words that best describe a narcissist. Surely, after taking a look at this list, you can pinpoint the narcissists in your life and distance yourself from their childish behavior. 

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