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See more synonyms for Zeitgeist on Thesaurus.com
noun German.
  1. the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time.
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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for zeitgeist


  1. the spirit, attitude, or general outlook of a specific time or period, esp as it is reflected in literature, philosophy, etc
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Word Origin

C20: from German, literally: time spirit; see tide 1, ghost
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 zeitgeist


1848, from German Zeitgeist, literally "spirit of the age," from Zeit "time" (see tide) + Geist "spirit" (see ghost).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

zeitgeist in Culture


[(tseyt-geyst, zeyt-geyst)]

The general moral, intellectual, and cultural climate of an era; Zeitgeist is German for “time-spirit.” For example, the Zeitgeist of England in the Victorian period included a belief in industrial progress, and the Zeitgeist of the 1980s in the United States was a belief in the power of money and the many ways in which to spend it.

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.