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90s Slang You Should Know


[ee-thos, ee-thohs, eth-os, -ohs] /ˈi θɒs, ˈi θoʊs, ˈɛθ ɒs, -oʊs/
Sociology. the fundamental character or spirit of a culture; the underlying sentiment that informs the beliefs, customs, or practices of a group or society; dominant assumptions of a people or period:
In the Greek ethos the individual was highly valued.
the character or disposition of a community, group, person, etc.
the moral element in dramatic literature that determines a character's action rather than his or her thought or emotion.
Origin of ethos
1850-55; < Greek: custom, habit, character Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for ethos
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • They were criminals, by their own ethos, when they desecrated our dead.

    The Leicestershires beyond Baghdad Edward John Thompson
  • It is "ethical" or "moral" in the sense of conforming to the ethos or mores of the group.

    Ethics John Dewey and James Hayden Tufts
  • The ethos of a group is just a catch-all term for the ways in which the members of a group rub against each other.

    The Ethical Engineer Henry Maxwell Dempsey
  • When the whole spirit, atmosphere, and ethos are anti-moral it is idle to chronicle any chance rectitude of detail.

  • The ethos of the satiric persona was something they could not understand.

    Two Poems Against Pope Leonard Welsted
British Dictionary definitions for ethos


the distinctive character, spirit, and attitudes of a people, culture, era, etc: the revolutionary ethos
Word Origin
C19: from Late Latin: habit, from Greek
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 ethos

revived by Palgrave in 1851 from Greek ethos "moral character, nature, disposition, habit, custom," from suffixed form of PIE root *s(w)e- (see idiom). An important concept in Aristotle (e.g. "Rhetoric" II xii-xiv).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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