Definition of Protestant ethic in English:

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Protestant ethic

(also Protestant work ethic)


The view that a person’s duty and responsibility is to achieve success through hard work and thrift.
Example sentences
  • Reformers swept away the obscurantist ceremonies and the humiliating subservience to Rome and gave the country a national church, the Protestant work ethic, the Bible in English.
  • The Protestant ethic may issue in hard work, asceticism, and an always unsatisfied striving for material betterment, but doesn't capitalism also foster ingenuity and inventiveness?
  • Part of it, too, may reflect Scotland's Calvinist legacy, a lean Presbyterian version of the Protestant work ethic, which Max Weber famously identified as the engine of modern capitalism.


Translating German die protestantische Ethik, coined (1904) by the economist Max Weber in his thesis on the relationship between the teachings of Calvin and the rise of capitalism.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: Prot|est|ant ethic

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