[ee-thos, ee-thohs, eth-os, -ohs]
- 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
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
- the distinctive character, spirit, and attitudes of a people, culture, era, etcthe revolutionary ethos
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
Word Origin and History for ethoses
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