: the distinguishing character, sentiment, moral nature, or guiding beliefs of a person, group, or institution

Example Sentences

The company made environmental awareness part of its business ethos. They are working to keep a democratic ethos alive in the community.
Recent Examples on the Web This ethos ensures that TreImage’s success is intimately linked with the triumph of its partners, reinforcing trust and reliability. Jon Stojan, USA TODAY, 30 May 2023 His asylum request is now forcing Norway to decide a case that pits the country’s humanitarian ethos against an increasingly assertive national security policy and solidarity with Ukraine. Henrik Pryser Libell, New York Times, 28 May 2023 But thus far, the recreational community is mostly applauding the measure, especially in Massachusetts, which has long had catch-and-release as the dominant ethos. Billy Baker, BostonGlobe.com, 24 May 2023 Calling myself a Chicano didn’t vibe with my rancho libertarian ethos, which felt the term was an antiquated one only leftists used. Gustavo Arellano, Los Angeles Times, 9 May 2023 Daniel is no longer working on friends’ trucks from his parents’ garage after hours, but the ethos hasn’t changed. First National Bank Alaska, Anchorage Daily News, 28 Apr. 2023 Slot will receive the Swiss festival’s Raimondo Rezzonico prize for a producer who epitomizes the indie ethos. Nick Vivarelli, Variety, 27 Apr. 2023 Harwell Godfrey Charity Heart Pendant Designer Lauren Harwell Godfrey introduced her Charity Heart pendant series in 2020, donating 100 percent of proceeds to nonprofit organizations that resonate with her ethos. Victoria Gomelsky, Robb Report, 27 Apr. 2023 This economizing ethos has forced adjustments big and small: Features are filming less in Los Angeles or New York; some crews are working shorter days and longer weeks; mid-budget affairs are becoming tougher to greenlight. Katie Kilkenny, The Hollywood Reporter, 27 Apr. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'ethos.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


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

First Known Use

1842, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of ethos was in 1842

Dictionary Entries Near ethos

Cite this Entry

“Ethos.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/ethos. Accessed 1 Jun. 2023.

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