Definition of Eros in US English:


proper noun

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

    Roman equivalent Cupid
    1. 1.1 Sexual love or desire.
      ‘Eros drives us to transcend ourselves through desire’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘For a discussion of Eros, Philia and Agape, visit the Philosophy of Love page.’
      • ‘The majority of love songs and movies are about Eros.’
      • ‘He is an M / E / A, meaning that Mania is his strongest scale, followed by Eros and Agape (altruistic love).’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is not the love of Eros, but the love of Agape.’
      • ‘She is a goddess, a notion of womanhood painted by a man self-confessedly driven by Eros.’
    2. 1.2 (in Freudian theory) the life instinct.
      Often contrasted with Thanatos
      • ‘However, he argues further that if Freud is correct, the balance to Thanatos is Eros, or the love of life.’
      • ‘They show a more disquieting image of death because they evoke the encounter of Eros and Thanatos.’
      • ‘Pornography distorts Eros, which pre-exists and persists, despite male culture's pornographic ‘revenge’ upon it.’
      • ‘He simply ends his book with calls for love, for Eros in face of Thanatos.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
    3. 1.3 (in Jungian psychology) the principle of personal relatedness in human activities, associated with the anima.
      Often contrasted with Logos
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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".’
  • 2Astronomy
    An asteroid discovered in 1898. At times it comes nearer to the earth than any celestial body except the moon.


Latin, from Greek, literally ‘sexual love’.