Definition of zeitgeist in English:

zeitgeist

Line breaks: zeit|geist
Pronunciation: /ˈzʌɪtgʌɪst
 
/

noun

[in singular]
  • The defining spirit or mood of a particular period of history as shown by the ideas and beliefs of the time: the story captured the zeitgeist of the late 1960s
    More example sentences
    • When the young Beethoven arrived in Vienna in 1792, the musical zeitgeist was defined by Haydn and Mozart.
    • In many ways the Perrons' story captured the zeitgeist last year.
    • The stories capture the zeitgeist of the experience, if not the objective reality.

Derivatives

zeitgeisty

adjective ( • informal )
More example sentences
  • To hear some people talk, their subsequent actions amount to a cautionary tale about this most zeitgeisty side of modern capitalism.
  • Hitching a lift on such a zeitgeisty channel could be the making of a rookie presenter's career.
  • The idea of "respect" in politics seemed so zeitgeisty a couple of years ago but today it's almost a dirty word.

Origin

mid 19th century: from German Zeitgeist, from Zeit 'time' + Geist 'spirit'.

More definitions of zeitgeist

Definition of zeitgeist in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove adverts and access premium resources

Word of the day coloratura
Pronunciation: ˌkɒlərəˈtjʊərə
noun
elaborate ornamentation of a vocal melody