[ tsahyt-gahyst ]
/ ˈtsaɪtˌgaɪst /

noun German.

the spirit of the time; general trend of thought or feeling characteristic of a particular period of time.
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Examples from the Web for zeitgeist

British Dictionary definitions for zeitgeist

/ (ˈzaɪtˌɡaɪst) /


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

Word Origin for zeitgeist

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

Cultural definitions for zeitgeist

[ (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.

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.