Cacoethes

cacoëthes

[kak-oh-ee-theez]
noun
an irresistible urge; mania.
Also, cacoethes.


Origin:
1555–65; < Latin < Greek kakóēthes, neuter (used as noun) of kakoḗthēs malignant, literally, of bad character; see caco-, ethos

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World English Dictionary
cacoethes (ˌkækəʊˈiːθiːz)
 
n
an uncontrollable urge or desire, esp for something harmful; mania: a cacoethes for smoking
 
[C16: from Latin cacoēthes malignant disease, from Greek kakoēthēs of an evil disposition, from kakoscaco- + ēthos character]
 
cacoethic
 
adj

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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

cacoethes
"itch for doing something," 1560s, from L., from Gk. kakoethes "ill-habit, wickedness, itch for doing (something)," from kakos "bad" + 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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