Monday, August 25, 2014
Definitions for ethos
- 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.
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Citations for ethos
These stories and countless others attest to the democratic ethos of social mobility and fluidity, heavily inflected by the Romantic ethos of "rugged individualism" and, however reductivist, Emersonian "self-reliance."
Irony is not dead--it's (ahem) a useful rhetorical tool--but it's certainly not the ethos of our age.
Origin of ethos
Ethos comes from the Greek term meaning "custom; habit; character," and provides the root for the term ethics. It entered English in the 1600s.