Definition of animus in English:

Share this entry


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
Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Related Words