Definition of zeitgeist
: the general intellectual, moral, and cultural climate of an era
zeitgeist was our Word of the Day on 12/31/2016. Hear the podcast!
Examples of zeitgeist in a sentence
His songs perfectly captured the zeitgeist of 1960s America.
Recent Examples of zeitgeist from the web
Just as important is the ability to read the cultural tea leaves to be able to foresee which shows will map on to the national zeitgeist.
On a meta level, can a show that draws much of its heat from tapping the pop-cultural and political zeitgeist keep pace with the chaos of 2016?
Yet this constant undertow, this zeitgeist, this stench of rot could not be ignored.
Over the next few years, however, the N.C.A.A.’s issues became part of the zeitgeist.
Chris Stapleton With all due respect to Jason Isbell and Sturgill Simpson, no one captured the country-music zeitgeist like Chris Stapleton.
Notably, though, what was happening within the rooms of Sterling Cooper ran completely contrary to what was percolating in the zeitgeist at the time.
But mostly because no album in recent memory taps into our cultural zeitgeist as effortlessly.
Following months of rigorous debate and consultation with style hawks, zeitgeist monitors, and a few of our wives and mothers, the results are in.
These example sentences are collected from online sources. Help us improve them by sending 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: 1835
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
What made you want to look up zeitgeist? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).