(lit.: 'I am'-conceit), 'ego-conceit', may range from the coarsest pride and self-assertion to a subtle feeling of one's distinctiveness or superiority that persists, as the 8th fetter (samyojana), until the attainment of Arahatship or Holiness.
It is based upon the comparison of oneself with others, and may, therefore, manifest itself also as a feeling of inferiority or the claim to be equal (s. māna).
It has to be distinguished from 'ego-belief' (sakkāya-ditthi, q.v.) which implies a definite belief or view (ditthi) concerning the assumption of a self or soul, and, being the 1st of the fetters, disappears at attainment of Stream-Entry (sotāpatti; s. ariya-puggala).
"Even when the five lower fetters have vanished in a noble disciple, there is still in him, with regard to the five groups of clinging, a slight undiscarded measure of the conceit 'I am', of the will 'I am', of the proclivity 'I am' " (S . XXII, 89) . - s. māna.