[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
Related Words for ethosesideology, mentality, spirit, mindset, code, psychology, culture, mind, psyche, attitude, values, principles, beliefs
- the distinctive character, spirit, and attitudes of a people, culture, era, etcthe revolutionary ethos
Word Origin for 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
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