[an-uh-muh s]


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 Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Related Words for animus

mind, spirit, temper, bile

Examples from the Web for animus

Contemporary Examples of animus

Historical Examples of animus

  • 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.

British Dictionary definitions for animus



intense dislike; hatred; animosity
motive, intention, or purpose
(in Jungian psychology) the masculine principle present in the female unconsciousSee also anima

Word Origin for animus

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

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

animus in Medicine




An animating or energizing spirit.
Intention to do something; disposition.
A spirit of active hostility; ill will.
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.