Definition of animus in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈanɪməs/


1 [mass noun] Hostility or ill feeling: the author’s animus towards her
More example sentences
  • They also required the University to take no action motivated by hostility, animus, or disapproval toward Brady's pregnancy.
  • The animus and hostility and the intensity of feeling evidenced by this act of the accused does not outweigh its prejudicial effect.
  • Ponting's animus toward Churchill never reaches Irving's level of contempt but he has his moments.
2 [mass noun] Motivation to do something: the reformist animus came from within the Party
More example sentences
  • Motivation refers to the animus for behavior and includes the affective aspects of attitudes, desires, ends, aims, goals, objectives, desired end states, and the like.
  • It is true that a nationalistic animus did not rally the Russian people into a cohesive national body with the idea of restoring the country's international standing regardless of the cost, as was the case in 1933 Germany.
  • Yet while in other French cities the violence continues, in Marseille the animus soon fizzled out.
3 Psychoanalysis (In Jungian psychology) the masculine part of a woman’s personality. Often contrasted with anima.
Example sentences
  • In that sense, the power that a female feels from the male - the animus, in Jungian terms - is a specification of the female power, a mode of application of the power.
  • This is specially true of the animus and anima, for their quest for completion is rendered more imperative by the nagging insistence of sexual desire.
  • Should art - high or low - only inspire the animus, not the anima?


Early 19th century: from Latin, 'spirit, mind'.

Words that rhyme with animus

equanimous, magnanimous, pusillanimous, unanimous

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: ani¦mus

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