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[an-uh-muh s] /ˈæn ə məs/
strong dislike or enmity; hostile attitude; animosity.
purpose; intention; animating spirit.
(in the psychology of C. G. Jung) the masculine principle, especially as present in women (contrasted with anima).
Origin of animus
1810-20; < Latin: mind, spirit, courage, passion, wrath; akin to anima Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for animus
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • It indicated that the animus of which I am speaking is almost a commonplace.

    Change in the Village (AKA George Bourne) George Sturt
  • But fraud is hard to suppress when the animus of the perpetrator is wrong.

    The Tapestry Book Helen Churchill Candee
  • Easter was too far away, and the animus of the school was for quiet study.

    Miss Ashton's New Pupil Mrs. S. S. Robbins
  • I gather, that her animus is, in all honesty, directed at the—I quote—state of sin.

  • Austen did not smile; he could well understand his father's animus in this matter.

    Mr. Crewe's Career, Complete Winston Churchill
British Dictionary definitions for animus


intense dislike; hatred; animosity
motive, intention, or purpose
(in Jungian psychology) the masculine principle present in the female unconscious See also anima
Word Origin
C19: from Latin: mind, spirit
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for animus

1820, "temper" (usually in a hostile sense), from Latin animus "rational soul, mind, life, mental powers; courage, desire," related to anima "living being, soul, mind, disposition, passion, courage, anger, spirit, feeling," from PIE root *ane- "to blow, to breathe" (cf. Greek anemos "wind," Sanskrit aniti "breathes," Old Irish anal, Welsh anadl "breath," Old Irish animm "soul," Gothic uzanan "to exhale," Old Norse anda "to breathe," Old English eðian "to breathe," Old Church Slavonic vonja "smell, breath," Armenian anjn "soul"). It has no plural. As a term in Jungian psychology for the masculine component of a feminine personality, it dates from 1923.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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animus in Medicine

animus an·i·mus (ān'ə-məs)

  1. An animating or energizing spirit.

  2. Intention to do something; disposition.

  3. A spirit of active hostility; ill will.

  4. In Jungian psychology, the masculine inner personality as present in the unconscious of the female.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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