Word of the Day : June 19, 2017

animus

play
noun AN-uh-muss

Definition

1 : a usually prejudiced and often spiteful or malevolent ill will

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

Did You Know?

Animus has long referred to the rational or animating components of a person's psyche (it derives from Latin animus, which can mean "spirit," "mind," "courage," or "anger"). Since a key animating component of personality can be temper, the word came to mean animosity, especially ill will that is driven by strong prejudice. The term is also used in the analytic psychology of C. G. Jung in reference to an inner masculine part of the female personality. The English animus is closely related to words such as animosity, magnanimous, and unanimous, but it is not as closely related to other similar-looking terms such as animal and animate. Those latter terms derive from the Latin anima, a distinct term that means "soul" or "breath" and that suggests someone's physical vitality or life force—the breath of life.



Examples

Barney's newspaper editorial had been heartfelt, and he was shocked by the animus in one published response.

"The precise rationale for the District's animus toward chicken ownership is unclear." — Peter Jamison, The Washington Post, 21 Apr. 2017



Word Family Quiz

What adjective derived from Latin animus means "evenness of mind under stress"?

VIEW THE ANSWER

Podcast


More Words of the Day

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!