cacoëthes

or cac·o·e·thes

[kak-oh-ee-theez]

Origin of cacoëthes

1555–65; < Latin < Greek kakóēthes, neuter (used as noun) of kakoḗthēs malignant, literally, of bad character; see caco-, ethos
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for cacoethes

Historical Examples of cacoethes


British Dictionary definitions for cacoethes

cacoethes

noun
  1. an uncontrollable urge or desire, esp for something harmful; maniaa cacoethes for smoking
Derived Formscacoethic (ˌkækəʊˈɛθɪk), adjective

Word Origin for cacoethes

C16: from Latin cacoēthes malignant disease, from Greek kakoēthēs of an evil disposition, from kakos caco- + ēthos character
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 cacoethes
n.

"itch for doing something," 1560s, from Latinized form of Greek kakoethes "ill-habit, wickedness, itch for doing (something)," from kakos "bad" (see caco-) + ethe- "disposition, character" (see ethos). Most famously, in Juvenal's insanabile scribendi cacoethes "incurable passion for writing."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper