to look out for number one

Idiom Definition

Idiom Definition - look out for number one

"to look out for number one"

to do what a person thinks is best for themselves and not care about other people, often because others will not care or look out for you


Related words and phrases:

Idiom Scenario 1

Idiom Definition - look out for number one

Two friends are talking ...

Friend 1:  I heard you were having some health problems.

Friend 2:  I was and what a disaster it was dealing with the medical system. It was so very difficult to get straightforward answers. In the end, I learned that the system will not really take care of you. You must do a lot of research and really push to ensure that you receive the treatments that are best for you.

Friend 1:  So it pays to look out for number one when dealing with the medical system?

Friend 2:  Without a doubt.  Do not trust the system.

Idiom Scenario 2

Idiom Definition - look out for number one

Two colleagues are talking ...

Colleague 1:  What's going on? I thought your boss was going to take you with him when he got promoted.

Colleague 2:  That was the plan. It turns out that my former boss was only using me to get his promotion and had no intention of helping me out.

Colleague 1:  I suppose there is a lesson here about looking out for number one.

Colleague 2:  Too true. Don't really on others to have your best interests at heart.

to look out for number one - Usage:


Usage Frequency Index:   72   click for frequency by country

to look out for number one - Gerund Form:

Looking out for number one is often necessary when dealing with government service departments.

to look out for number one - Examples:

1)  ... you have to be a ruthless person and look out for number one a lot. If you don't you are going to get spat out, ...

2)  ... to decide whether you're going to help another person, or look out for number one -- and guess what? If you choose the latter, you're a jerk.

3)  Look out for number one first, because organisations built in the image of today's leaders will not do ...

4)  Because you have to look out for number one and protect your investment, because no one else will.

5)  You have to look out for number one, too, especially in avoiding traps set by the keepers.

6)  ... nobody could ever tell whether Prince Andrew was looking out for number one or whether he really had the interests of the country at heart.

7)  ... be the reason that he is lying -- he is scared and looking out for number one.

8)  He believes in teamwork, but is also busy looking out for number one - a loose cannon perhaps - but always true to himself.

9)  There's no egos in here, there's not one guy looking out for number one. It's a group atmosphere.

10)  ... to maximize his own potential is a selfish cancer who is only looking out for number one.

11)  As a result I decided to look out for number one in case I was let down.

12)  ... the reality is football is a short career and I had to look out for number one.

13)  ... because I can't even admit to myself that I didn't look out for number one the way I should have. The thing I am struggling so deeply with ...

14)  Nobody never gave Michael Dunne nothing; I got to look out for number one. Otherwise, what'd I be?

15)  Heidi is furious with me but I need to look out for number one.

16)  ... through the toughest battle of our life and he now needs to look out for number one. He wants to rediscover himself as an individual.

17)  ... international future could be in doubt after he insisted that he will look out for number one after being "let down" by Africa.

18)  However, if the threat becomes real, Barosky is going to look out for number one first and foremost and he knows an awful lot about the club's dealings.

19)  Our thought has been' Let every man look out for number one, let every generation look out for itself.

20)  ... unless you are looking out for number one, you can very well not live. Nobody's looking out for you.