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Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English
▪ There is now a growing conviction that the religious sources for a new public ethos have to be mobilised again.
▪ Although the new forms of service are not necessarily responsible, it is felt that the whole ethos of worship has changed.
▪ Rather it was the whole ethos of the monarchy which was felt to be dowdy and second-rate.
▪ Do schools pay sufficient attention to the match between the taught health education curriculum and the hidden curriculum of the school ethos?
▪ A prime source of violence resides in the elitist educational strategies that are firmly rooted in the school ethos.
▪ The school ethos was mainly concerned with turning out well-educated, potential wives of professional able-bodied men.
▪ It is by acts of thoughtfulness that the school ethos is reinforced.
▪ In the late '60s, thousands of people lived according to an ethos of sharing and caring.
▪ Any traces have been obliterated by the advance of the ethos that we have inherited from our Cro-Magnon ancestors.
▪ It alerts one to the importance of contextual factors such as those relating to the institution's regulations, resources and ethos.
▪ The dominant male ethos even leads to an unspoken complicity between cop and criminal.
▪ There is now a growing conviction that the religious sources for a new public ethos have to be mobilised again.
▪ Western art reflected the ethos of its society as surely as Soviet art.
▪ What should remain constant is ethos.
The Collaborative International Dictionary

Ethos \E"thos\, n. [L., fr. Gr. ? character. See Ethic.]

  1. The character, sentiment, or disposition of a community or people, considered as a natural endowment; the spirit which actuates manners and customs; also, the characteristic tone or genius of an institution or social organization.

  2. ([AE]sthetics) The traits in a work of art which express the ideal or typic character -- character as influenced by the ethos (sense 1) of a people -- rather than realistic or emotional situations or individual character in a narrow sense; -- opposed to pathos.

Douglas Harper's Etymology Dictionary

"the 'genius' of a people, characteristic spirit of a time and place," 1851 (Palgrave) from Greek ethos "habitual character and disposition; moral character; habit, custom; an accustomed place," in plural, "manners," from suffixed form of PIE root *s(w)e- third person pronoun and reflexive (see idiom). An important concept in Aristotle (as in "Rhetoric" II xii-xiv).


n. 1 The character or fundamental values of a person, people, culture, or movement. 2 (context rhetoric English) A form of rhetoric in which the writer or speaker invokes their authority, competence or expertise in an attempt to persuade others that their view is correct. 3 (cx aesthetics English) The traits in a work of art which express the ideal or typic character, as influenced by the ethos (character or fundamental values) of a people, rather than realistic or emotional situations or individual character in a narrow sense; opposed to (term pathos English).


n. (anthropology) the distinctive spirit of a culture or an era; "the Greek ethos"


Ethos ( or ) is a Greek word meaning " character" that is used to describe the guiding beliefs or ideals that characterize a community, nation, or ideology. The Greeks also used this word to refer to the power of music to influence its hearer's emotions, behaviors, and even morals. Early Greek stories of Orpheus exhibit this idea in a compelling way. The word's use in rhetoric is closely based on the Greek terminology used by Aristotle in his concept of the three artistic proofs.

Ethos (disambiguation)

Ethos generally refers to a culture's guiding ideals.

Ethos may also refer to:

  • Ethos Water, a brand of bottled water
  • Ethos, a mode of persuasion which appeals to the authority or honesty of a speaker
  • Ethos Books, a publisher
  • Ethos (film), 2011 documentary film hosted by Woody Harrelson
  • Ethos (band), a mid-1970s progressive rock band
  • Ethos (operating system), an experimental operating system designed for security, by Jon A. Solworth, University of Illinois at Chicago
Ethos (magazine)

Ethos was a biannual magazine published between 2007 and 2014 for Serco Group plc by Sunday Publishing Ltd. The stated aim of Ethos was to "stimulate thought and provoke reaction to the big issues shaping the world of public services" while the publisher's brief was to "position Serco at the forefront of debate about the design and delivery of the UK’s public services". Ethos was published online every month and in print twice a year.

Ethos (film)

Ethos is a 2011 documentary film directed and written by Pete McGrain and hosted by Woody Harrelson. The main point of the film is to encourage people to engage in ethical consumerism.

The film uses many video interview segments from other films at length, including the Zeitgeist movies and, predominantly, The Corporation.

Hosted by twice Oscar nominated actor and activist Woody Harrelson, Ethos lifts the lid on a Pandora’s box of systemic issues that guarantee failure in almost every aspect of our lives; from the environment to democracy and our own personal liberty: from terrifying conflicts of interests in politics to unregulated corporate power, to a media in the hands of massive conglomerates, and a military industrial complex that virtually owns our representatives. With interviews from some of today’s leading thinkers and source material from the finest documentary film makers of our times Ethos examines and unravels these complex relationships, and offers a solution, a simple but powerful way for you to change this system.

Usage examples of "ethos".

Deputy Mayor of Jerusalem and Israeli commentator Meron Benvenisti has called a Herrenvolk democracy, with power and status held by a ruling ethnicity, corresponded to a core part of the Jacksonian ethos in the United States, at least until the 1960s.

The kitchen staff could well do with some thinning out and since so much of the ethos of Porterhouse emanated from the kitchen and the endowments lavished upon it by generations of Porterhouse men, a careful campaign of retrenchment there would do much to alter the character of the College.

But by claiming that She was banished, and by purporting to know how and why it happened, these ecofeminists are then in possession of a certain type of intensely dominating power, the power to tell the entire world what it must do in order to recapture an ethos of which these theorists are now the sole possessors.

The first thing he saw upon emerging from the bathroom was a framed photo of Yukio Mishima, the samurai-poet who had committed hara-kiri in 1970 in order to dramatize to an uncomprehending nation a death of uniqueness: the dissolution of traditional Japanese values in the noisome cauldron of the ethos of the West.

Himself - my august uncle, my hereditary clan chief - was the product of the same ancient ethos and conditioning that I had received from his brother, and I had willy nilly inherited the mainstream Kinloch mind, stubbornness and all.

We Cicadas lived in the moral equivalent of de Sitter space, where no ethos had validity unless it was generated by noncausative free will.

The battle rages between commercial interests and champions of the ethos of free content and open source software.

And most of them were people educated in Europe or America, where their foreign origin forced them to cleave together just to maintain a comfortable intellectual place of self-identity, and so they built upon a foundation of outsiderness that had led many of them to a revolutionary ethos.

Robby Jackson had been a Navy fighter pilot, and he hadn't forgotten the warrior ethos, despite his new job and pay grade.

And they can't allow you to suicide because the ethos of Central Worlds is dedicated to extending life and propagating it wherever and whenever possible.

She was no longer limited to those sterling souls, fresh and eager from Academy training, fully indoctrinated in Central Worlds' ethos, conditioned to a set way of thinking and acting, molded according to predetermined physical, intellectual, spiritual, psychological requisites, and not what she had in mind.

Despite the official Ruellian ethos, the remaining three social classes seemed nearly invisible at the party.

A loner among such buddy-buddy primates would have been an aberration, for her people would have lived in a social unit where the ethos of a loner could contribute only uncertainty and disruption.

Sorelledolce was one of the newer colonies, only a hundred years old, but its status as an associated planet meant that a lot of shady and unregulatable businesses migrated there, bringing full employment, plenty of opportunities, and a boomtown ethos that made everyone's step seem vigorous—and everyone's eyes seem to keep glancing over their shoulder.