One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An urge to do something inadvisable.
longing, yearning, hankering, hunger, hungering, thirst, pining, desire, want, wish, fancy, urge, need, appetite, greed, lust, ache, burning, addiction, aspiration, aim, goalView synonyms
- ‘The serial killer was unable to control his desire to maim; he had a cacoethes for hurting innocent people.’
- ‘We began as two guys with a cacoethes for creating simple, effective and sustainable solutions that will help to save environment, people and business.’
- ‘And, it does so without engaging in sophistry, for the true horror writer is consumed by a cacoethes to engage his moral imagination, to reveal a sliver of the transcendent.’
Mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek kakoēthes ‘ill-disposed’, from kakos ‘bad’ + ēthos ‘disposition’.
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