Definition of ethos in US English:



  • The characteristic spirit of a culture, era, or community as manifested in its beliefs and aspirations.

    ‘a challenge to the ethos of the 1960s’
    • ‘Much credit must go to the local community for the way they have embraced the ethos of community cohesion.’
    • ‘For example, a bank launched a large-scale programme to create a new ethos of customer care.’
    • ‘The ethos is caring and ensures that everyone reaches their full potential.’
    • ‘Their projects are diverse, but the firms share a similar ethos.’
    • ‘And the real thing is that the whole ethos, culture and drive of the company now is to put that right.’
    • ‘I tend to see the results as the by-product of an ethos where we encourage students to aim high.’
    • ‘We have an innovative approach and a different ethos - and we are getting repeat business.’
    • ‘There is mounting frustration with the anti-enterprise ethos of his administration.’
    • ‘It was, after all, an ethos which could be portrayed as combining both a national and an individual ethic.’
    • ‘He founded a great regiment and the principles he founded it on and the ethos he left are just the same today as they were then.’
    • ‘Their ethos was that you had to treat the whole person, not just the cancer.’
    • ‘It is by no means a perfect system, but dissent and debate are recognised as an integral part of the university ethos.’
    • ‘Choice is the ethos of a free-market environment; at the moment we don't have that.’
    • ‘A Christian publishing house wants a Christian ethos to permeate its workforce.’
    • ‘I was aware that the school had a culture of discipline and an ethos of personal improvement.’
    • ‘Moving with the times is very much part of the ethos of the magazine, and of course we must practise what we preach.’
    • ‘And the way to do that is to get more people to go racing and become involved in the ethos of the sport.’
    • ‘Innovation was quietly continuous, prompting an ethos of understated optimism.’
    • ‘Charlton and their manager have created an ethos that has kept the club not just afloat but positively buoyant.’
    • ‘While success is born of a competitive spirit among pupils, that does not have to breed an uncaring ethos.’
    spirit, character, atmosphere, climate, prevailing tendency, mood, feeling, temper, tenor, flavour, essence, quintessence
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Mid 19th century: from modern Latin, from Greek ēthos ‘nature, disposition’, (plural) ‘customs’.