Definition of genius loci in English:

Share this entry

genius loci

Pronunciation: /ˈjēnēəs ˈlōsī/ Pronunciation: /-kī/


[in singular]
1The prevailing character or atmosphere of a place.
Example sentences
  • Having visited his bare-bones Tribeca studio with its funky, timbered two-story space, I've gotten a sense of the genius loci of Georges's recent art.
  • We can learn a ton about baseball while feeling both the spine shivers of contact with ‘holy’ items and the touch of genius loci, the magic of real and special places.
  • The objective was to find the genius loci of a place and in Lasdun's words ‘the soul of the building’.
1.1The presiding god or spirit of a place.
Example sentences
  • She supposes that, in earlier times, ‘every tree, every spring, every stream, every hill had its own genius loci, its guardian spirit’.


Early 17th century: Latin, literally 'spirit of the place'.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: ge·ni·us lo·ci

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.