Definition of cacoethes in English:


Syllabification: cac·o·e·thes
Pronunciation: /ˌkakōˈwēT͟Hēz


[in singular] rare
  • An irresistible urge to do something inadvisable.
    More example sentences
    • The serial killer was unable to control his desire to maim; he had a cacoethes for hurting innocent people.
    • And, it does so without engaging in sophistry, for the true horror writer is consumed by a cacoethes to engage his moral imagination, to reveal a sliver of the transcendent.
    • We began as two guys with a cacoethes for creating simple, effective and sustainable solutions that will help to save environment, people and business.


mid 16th century: via Latin from Greek kakoēthes 'ill-disposed', from kakos 'bad' + ēthos 'disposition'.

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