Definition of mentality in US English:



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

    ‘the yuppie mentality of the eighties’
    • ‘In a subsequent class, a student asked if a shy person might maintain both guard and prisoner mentalities in a self-imposed psychological prison.’
    • ‘Lee Gilmour reckons the Bulls' play-anywhere mentality is one of their main strengths.’
    • ‘You have got to be someone with a different kind of mentality to make that work for you.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Some would claim that this ivory-tower mentality was reflected in his music.’
    • ‘I suppose we've just got that winning mentality, and that can become a habit.’
    • ‘Orchestras must break the concert hall mentality and become their own media players.’
    • ‘He has the scorers' mentality and is at the right time to establish himself as a top class player.’
    • ‘The result of this mentality was that all concern with Nature was dominated by theory.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘However, I like to believe that we do manage to suppress the outsider's mentality.’
    • ‘Football must avoid the kind of closed shop mentality that permeates other sports.’
    • ‘Several of us do many a ritual out of sheer herd mentality rather than with real interest or understanding.’
    • ‘The wife will have spent years feeling excluded from that club mentality.’
    • ‘You get them together and that herd mentality takes over and bad things seem to come of it.’
    • ‘I came to England and ended up in a council flat, so I grew up with a working class mentality.’
    • ‘Tocqueville notes that with effort he - and we - can enter this peasant's mentality.’
    • ‘It's the same old imperialist mentality, the same denial of other people's rights.’
    • ‘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 The capacity for intelligent thought.

    • ‘Human beings are very much alike, and every culture is rooted in a universal human mentality.’
    • ‘This criterion is attractive even insofar as human mentality is concerned.’
    • ‘Logic and illusion become confused and you find it hard to express your highly developed and sensitive mentality.’
    • ‘For a new life to begin mentality must join with this special matter and thus the round of birth and death continues.’
    • ‘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.