Definition of Eros in English:


proper noun

  • 1Greek Mythology
    The god of love, son of Aphrodite.

    Roman equivalent Cupid
    1. 1.1mass noun Sexual love or desire.
      ‘Eros drives us to transcend ourselves through desire’
      • ‘I am not the origin of the desire that operates within my vision; it is from Eros that I derive the libidinal quality of my gaze which eroticizes the world.’
      • ‘The colored picture painted over the pool figures the ‘Regard’ of love, that is, the way Eros shapes itself in a certain look, in a certain aspect.’
      • ‘The majority of love songs and movies are about Eros.’
      • ‘In other words, such love is still within the province of Eros, whereas, much like Spinoza's third kind of knowledge, agape is intellectual love.’
      • ‘This is not the love of Eros, but the love of Agape.’
      • ‘Part of what he was really attracted to in the Aboriginal culture and in the songs were their deep carnality, their Eros that drove the songs, and were so central to so many ceremonies.’
      • ‘For a discussion of Eros, Philia and Agape, visit the Philosophy of Love page.’
      • ‘She is a goddess, a notion of womanhood painted by a man self-confessedly driven by Eros.’
      • ‘He is an M / E / A, meaning that Mania is his strongest scale, followed by Eros and Agape (altruistic love).’
    2. 1.2mass noun (in Freudian theory) the life instinct.
      Often contrasted with Thanatos
      • ‘If the two pioneers had continued to collaborate, Freud might have recognized that his portrayal of Eros and Death as giants locked in perpetual combat is what Jung would have called an ‘archetypal’ vision.’
      • ‘Sigmund Freud, in Civilization and Its Discontents, writes that all of life is a battle between the forces of love, or Eros, and the forces of death, Thanatos.’
      • ‘Pornography distorts Eros, which pre-exists and persists, despite male culture's pornographic ‘revenge’ upon it.’
      • ‘However, he argues further that if Freud is correct, the balance to Thanatos is Eros, or the love of life.’
      • ‘He simply ends his book with calls for love, for Eros in face of Thanatos.’
      • ‘They show a more disquieting image of death because they evoke the encounter of Eros and Thanatos.’
    3. 1.3mass noun (in Jungian psychology) the principle of personal relatedness in human activities, associated with the anima.
      Often contrasted with Logos
      • ‘Jung called Eros the great binder and deliverer and he anticipated a growing awareness of the androgynous aspect of our personalities.’
      • ‘By Eros, Jung meant a principle of psychic relatedness, whether to another human being, or indeed anything "other".’
      • ‘The mother is abundantly endowed with Eros, the principle of love, intimacy, and relatedness, while the father is the living embodiment of Logos, the principle of reason, judgement, and discrimination.’
  • 2Astronomy
    Asteroid 433, discovered in 1898, which comes at times nearer to the earth than any celestial body except the moon.


Latin, from Greek, literally ‘sexual love’.