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ethos

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noun \ˈē-ˌthäs\

Simple Definition of ethos

  • : the guiding beliefs of a person, group, or organization

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of ethos

  1. :  the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution; also :  ethic 2c

Examples of ethos in a sentence

  1. The company made environmental awareness part of its business ethos.

  2. They are working to keep a democratic ethos alive in the community.



Did You Know?

Ethos means "custom" or "character" in Greek. As originally used by Aristotle, it referred to a man's character or personality, especially in its balance between passion and caution. Today ethos is used to refer to the practices or values that distinguish one person, organization, or society from others. So we often hear of the ethos of rugged individualism and self-sufficiency on the American frontier in the 19th century; and a critic might complain about, for example, the ethos of violence in the inner cities or the ethos of permissiveness in the suburbs.

Origin and Etymology of ethos

New Latin, from Greek ēthos custom, character — more at sib


First Known Use: 1851



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