animus

play
noun an·i·mus \ ˈa-nə-məs \

Definition of animus

1 :a usually prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will
  • harbored an animus toward them
  • … the sixties mentality, with its strong animus against what it defines as "elitism" …
  • —Daniel J. Singal
2 :basic attitude or governing spirit :disposition, intention
3 :an inner masculine part of the female personality in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung — compare anima

animus was our Word of the Day on 06/19/2017. Hear the podcast!

Examples of animus in a Sentence

  1. She felt an animus against them.

  2. feeling no animus toward those who had wronged her

Recent Examples of animus from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'animus.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of animus

Latin, spirit, mind, courage, anger

Synonym Discussion of animus

enmity, hostility, antipathy, antagonism, animosity, rancor, animus mean deep-seated dislike or ill will. enmity suggests positive hatred which may be open or concealed.
    • an unspoken enmity
hostility suggests an enmity showing itself in attacks or aggression.
    • hostility between the two nations
antipathy and antagonism imply a natural or logical basis for one's hatred or dislike, antipathy suggesting repugnance, a desire to avoid or reject, and antagonism suggesting a clash of temperaments leading readily to hostility.
    • a natural antipathy for self-seekers
    • antagonism between the brothers
animosity suggests intense ill will and vindictiveness that threaten to kindle hostility.
    • animosity that led to revenge
rancor is especially applied to bitter brooding over a wrong.
    • rancor filled every line of his letters
animus adds to animosity the implication of strong prejudice.
    • objections devoid of personal animus

ANIMUS Defined for English Language Learners

animus

play
noun

Definition of animus for English Language Learners

  • : a strong feeling of dislike or hatred


Medical Dictionary

animus

play
noun an·i·mus \ ˈan-ə-məs \

medical Definition of animus

:an inner masculine part of the female personality in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung — compare anima 1

Law Dictionary

animus

play
noun an·i·mus \ ˈa-nə-məs \

legal Definition of animus

:intent
  • discriminatory animus
— compare mens rea

Origin and Etymology of animus

Latin, mind, soul


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