Definition of mentality in English:



  • 1derogatory The characteristic way of thinking of a person or group.

    ‘I had inherited not only my father's blood but his bourgeois mentality as well’
    • ‘Those who wage such struggles may choose to sport middle-class suits and exploit the spread of advanced technology, but their mentalities are a mixture of the anti-modern, the millenarian and the tribal in outlook.’
    • ‘In a subsequent class, a student asked if a shy person might maintain both guard and prisoner mentalities in a self-imposed psychological prison.’
    • ‘Orchestras must break the concert hall mentality and become their own media players.’
    • ‘Several of us do many a ritual out of sheer herd mentality rather than with real interest or understanding.’
    • ‘If you use taxis as often as I do, you'll know how drivers' attitudes and mentalities are a hazard to us and hardly ever to themselves.’
    • ‘I suppose we've just got that winning mentality, and that can become a habit.’
    • ‘It's the same old imperialist mentality, the same denial of other people's rights.’
    • ‘I came to England and ended up in a council flat, so I grew up with a working class mentality.’
    • ‘Football must avoid the kind of closed shop mentality that permeates other sports.’
    • ‘Some would claim that this ivory-tower mentality was reflected in his music.’
    • ‘He has the scorers' mentality and is at the right time to establish himself as a top class player.’
    • ‘Lee Gilmour reckons the Bulls' play-anywhere mentality is one of their main strengths.’
    • ‘The news covers race motivated attacks and discrimination, and rightly so, but while that can, in theory, be punishable, small-town mentalities and home-grown attitudes cannot.’
    • ‘The result of this mentality was that all concern with Nature was dominated by theory.’
    • ‘You get them together and that herd mentality takes over and bad things seem to come of it.’
    • ‘However, I like to believe that we do manage to suppress the outsider's mentality.’
    • ‘The wife will have spent years feeling excluded from that club mentality.’
    • ‘You have got to be someone with a different kind of mentality to make that work for you.’
    • ‘Tocqueville notes that with effort he - and we - can enter this peasant's mentality.’
    • ‘You are just looking at these old cases where judges in the grip of colonial mentality applied English law.’
    way of thinking, cast of mind, frame of mind, turn of mind, way someone's mind works, mind, mind set, psychology, mental attitude
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  • 2dated mass noun The capacity for intelligent thought.

    ‘machines can possess mentality’
    • ‘For a new life to begin mentality must join with this special matter and thus the round of birth and death continues.’
    • ‘Logic and illusion become confused and you find it hard to express your highly developed and sensitive mentality.’
    • ‘This criterion is attractive even insofar as human mentality is concerned.’
    • ‘Human beings are very much alike, and every culture is rooted in a universal human mentality.’
    • ‘Diderot came to resent the burden which had taken up too much of his life, the more so as mentality had not evolved for the better as much as he had hoped.’
    intellect, intellectual capabilities, intelligence, intelligence quotient, iq, brainpower, brain, brains, mind, comprehension, understanding, wit, wits, reasoning, rationality, powers of reasoning, wisdom, sense, perception, imagination
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Late 17th century (in the sense ‘mental process’): from the adjective mental + -ity. Current senses date from the mid 19th century.