Definition of zeitgeist
: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era
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Examples of zeitgeist in a Sentence
His songs perfectly captured the zeitgeist of 1960s America.
Recent Examples of zeitgeist from the Web
Back to the dress: For her foray into the trend zeitgeist, Catherine fell back on one of her go-to brands, Alexander McQueen.
Trump correctly read the zeitgeist of—and appreciated the discomfort felt by—broad swathes of the electorate with respect to the future direction of the law and its monumental impact on society.
Trump correctly read the zeitgeist of—and appreciated the discomfort felt by—
Angela Rye has easily become one of the loudest and proudest black female voices in the zeitgeist right now.
His measure was teetering with popularity in the Commons as Corbyn sought to ride the zeitgeist of the Labour Party's election surge during the general election.
A grueling open-water swim would tap into the national zeitgeist, of a piece with the 1920s marathon dances, tumbling over Niagara Falls in a barrel and flagpole-sitting.
What books and what culture can do is change the zeitgeist, right?
Name another brand that can be so perfectly tapped into the zeitgeist while remaining impervious to trends, season after season, like Missoni.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'zeitgeist.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Did You Know?
Scholars have long maintained that each era has a unique spirit, a nature or climate that sets it apart from all other epochs. In German, such a spirit is known as "Zeitgeist," from the German words Zeit, meaning "time," and Geist, meaning "spirit" or "ghost." Some writers and artists assert that the true zeitgeist of an era cannot be known until it is over, and several have declared that only artists or philosophers can adequately explain it. We don’t know if that’s true, but we do know that "zeitgeist" has been a useful addition to the English language since at least 1835.
Origin and Etymology of zeitgeist
German, from Zeit + Geist spirit
First Known Use: 1835See Words from the same year
ZEITGEIST Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of zeitgeist for English Language Learners
: the general beliefs, ideas, and spirit of a time and place
Seen and Heard
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