1905, from German Narzissismus, coined 1899 (in "Die sexuellen Perversitäten"), by German psychiatrist Paul Näcke (1851-1913), on a comparison suggested 1898 by Havelock Ellis, from Greek Narkissos, name of a beautiful youth in mythology (Ovid, "Metamorphoses," iii.370) who fell in love with his own reflection in a spring and was turned to the flower narcissus (q.v.). Narcissus himself as a figure of self-love is attested by 1767. Coleridge used the word in a letter from 1822.
But already Krishna, enamoured of himself, had resolved to experience lust for his own self; he manifested his own Nature in the cow-herd girls and enjoyed them. [Karapatri, "Lingopasana-rahasya," Siddhanta, II, 1941-2]
Sometimes erroneously as narcism.
updated on April 10, 2019