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cacoëthes

[kak-oh-ee-theez] /ˌkæk oʊˈi θiz/
noun
1.
an irresistible urge; mania.
Also, cacoethes.
Origin
1555-1565
1555-65; < Latin < Greek kakóēthes, neuter (used as noun) of kakoḗthēs malignant, literally, of bad character; see caco-, ethos
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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British Dictionary definitions for cacoëthes

cacoethes

/ˌkækəʊˈiːθiːz/
noun
1.
an uncontrollable urge or desire, esp for something harmful; mania: a cacoethes for smoking
Derived Forms
cacoethic (ˌkækəʊˈɛθɪk) adjective
Word Origin
C16: from Latin cacoēthes malignant disease, from Greek kakoēthēs of an evil disposition, from kakoscaco- + ēthos character
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for cacoëthes

cacoethes

n.

"itch for doing something," 1560s, from Latinized form of Greek kakoethes "ill-habit, wickedness, itch for doing (something)," from kakos "bad" (see caco-) + ethe- "disposition, character" (see ethos). Most famously, in Juvenal's insanabile scribendi cacoethes "incurable passion for writing."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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